Chain of Responsibility legislation changes come into effect in October 2018. Anyone working in the heavy vehicle industry and supply chain will be affected – but this shouldn’t be a cause for stress. Your business will be a safer, more profitable place by getting on board with the new legislation – we’ll show you how, just keep reading. We’ll teach you the key things to know about the Chain of Responsibility, plus how your business can get on board with the new legislation.
What is a Chain of Responsibility?
The Chain of Responsibility is a business compliance area which holds companies accountable for unsafe practices in the heavy vehicle industry. The current Chain of Responsibility legislation requires all employees, managers and contractors in the supply chain to be responsible for safe practices both on and off the road.
October 2018 is when the important changes to the Chain Of Responsibility legislation will launch. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator outlines the change:
“Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) will be amended to provide that every party in the heavy vehicle transport supply chain has a duty to ensure the safety of their transport activities.”
In plain English, you’re affected if you operate in the heavy vehicle transportation industry or take part in any supply chain processes.
You’re responsible for the safety of workers. If something goes wrong the legal and financial implications can be severe.
Don’t risk safety. Take the proactive approach and comply with Chain of Responsibility legislation. If you’ve already got one then check out the National Heavy Vehicle Register’s website for information sessions about the new legislation.
Read on to find out how a Chain of Responsibility can save your business money and time.
How creating Chain of Responsibility will save you money in the future
An efficient Chain of Responsibility will mitigate the risks of injury to employees and potential damage to stock.
Think about this: A heavy vehicle driver is in their last hour of a night shift. They’re exhausted after driving for 13 hours. An effective Chain Of Responsibility would require:
- The driver to make compulsory rest stops in order to avoid driving whilst fatigued
- Stock handlers to follow protocol to stock the truck to reduce the risk of furniture damage in transit.
Here are three ways a Chain of Responsibility can save you money:
- Improve efficiency and minimise paperwork — An effective Chain of Responsibility system outlines all policies and processes with the aim of keeping all documentation in the one place. The Chain of Responsibility also aims to improve efficiency. For example, before a heavy vehicle driver has loaded all the stock into his truck and is ready to commute to the retail store the warehouse or logistics manager will check safety processes & procedures to reduce risks. Some factors they will look at include loading procedures, speed and fatigue rules.
- Avoid long-term financial stress — Heavy vehicle transport is one of the most dangerous occupations in Australia. Having a Chain of Responsibility in place forces all stakeholders to be accountable for ensuring safe operation and performance across all aspects of transportation.
- Minimise risks — Sharing the responsibility is an effective way to reduce risks because everyone is dependent on one another. Parties dependent on reducing risks include:
- Loaders or Packers
- Managers, Operators or Schedulers
- Consignors or Receivers
Developing systems to comply to Chain of Responsibility will save your business time and resources over the years, not to mention potentially saving lives.
What’s involved in a Chain of Responsibility audit? What can we do to get started?
The BusinessBasics team can audit your existing safety management systems to see if you comply with the Chain of Responsibility legislation, and make recommendations on areas for improvement. If your existing system needs refreshing or you require support and a plan to comply with legislation then we can help too.
- Audits of work schedules, driver rest breaks, trip timetables and records
- Documented work practices to keep vehicles in good condition and loads properly restrained
- Regular training ensure staff are aware of business policies and their obligations
Haven’t set up your systems to ensure Chain of Responsibility compliance yet? Get started now before your business gets caught up in legal implications from noncompliance. We can develop an effective system to ensure maximum compliance. The time it takes to create and implement the processes will vary on a number of factors including:
- Number of parties involved
- The current logistics process
- Span of control
- The complexity of the industry
The best way to get started is to pick up the phone and call us on 1300 919 515 so we can talk through your individual business needs.
Keep your employees safe
The Chain of Responsibility is here to minimise logistical risks to those working in the heavy vehicle and logistics industries. When your business complies with the Chain of Responsibility requirements, your staff are likely to be safer on the roads, minimising the level of risk to their own lives and your business.
You should now understand that complying with Chain of Responsibility legislation is an effective mechanism to have in place to keep your workers safe. Do you already have one in place? If the answer is yes, are you ready for the changes in October 2018?