Chain of Responsibility (CoR) was a big topic in fleet last year and a mock trial was a key feature at the IPWEA 2019 Fleet Conference. It was made clear that ignorance is not a good defence.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has commenced its first prosecution under new CoR laws, laying charges against a company director for failing to exercise due diligence to ensure the company complied with its safety duty.
NHVR Executive Director Statutory Compliance Ray Hassall said that NHVR Investigators conducted a safety duties investigation into a Victorian trucking company in relation to fatigue management of its drivers.
“We believe the company failed to comply with conditions of its fatigue management accreditation,” Mr Hassall said.
“This requirement forms part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law’s (HVNL) primary safety duty and executives are required to exercise due diligence to ensure a company complies with this duty.
“As a result of that investigation, NHVR has laid charges against both the company and the company director for failing to meet these duties.
“The aim of the HVNL is to ensure that everyone in the Chain of Responsibility is doing what they are required to do to keep road users and transport workers safe.
“We know that drivers are constantly put under pressure at the depot or the loading dock and we want to hold the people responsible accountable.
“The investigation was triggered in response to information provided to the NHVR through the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line (HVCRL), and other information available to the NHVR in assessing the risk the operator posed to safety.”
The HVCRL provides a free, confidential way for people to report any concerns about industry safety or compliance they have to a trained specialist.
Anyone who has concerns about safety in their workplace or in any other part of the supply chain can get in contact with the NHVR through the HVCRL on 1800 931 785.
The matter is listed to be heard in Dandenong Magistrates Court on 20 February 2020.