Heavy vehicle legislation changes affecting everyone involved

When COAG met on heavy vehicle reform and paved a way forward back in 2009, the end goal was to ensure that everyone within a transport task was to be made responsible for the safety of the transport task in their control, and that one regulator would oversee these changes.

Fast forward to October 1, 2018 and those changes to the heavy vehicle national law, also known as chain of responsibility, will be live and real for anyone who engages heavy vehicles to undertake a transport task within their operation.

So, what does that mean for the average organisation who may not actually own a truck or employ a driver?

Very simply, the heavy vehicle national law describes what any organisation both profit or not for profit that employs a transport task needs to do to ensure that their transport task is safe and is measured to ensure that all due diligence is being met and that incidents are of an absolute minimum.

Also within the heavy vehicle national law lies the executive liability provision, which gives the heavy vehicle national law its teeth.

This provision dictates that any CEO, Director or Executive of any body corporate that has the power to prescribe where the organisations budget is allocated is responsible for ensuring that their front-line staff are trained and understand their chain of responsibility obligations and that middle management are ensuring that safety measures and procedures are being followed and met. It also dictates that that contracts do not encourage any transport operator to act in an unsafe manner.

The executive liability provision is independent, which means the regulator no longer needs an incident to act on.

With the commencement of the regulators toll free number to report unsavoury behaviour in a transport operation, organisations must take steps to ensure their liability is met should the regulator come knocking.

Further information on obligations are available on www.maez.com.au as well as on the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s website.