Operators are being urged to ensure they’re compliant with new Chain of Responsibility (CoR) provisions in effect under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
Melbourne-based lawyers Rigby Cooke believe there are many organisations and operations in the road transport industry around Australia that may be failing to meet their obligations under the new regulations introduced last month.
Litigation and dispute resolution specialist and partner at Rigby Cooke, Elizabeth Guerra-Stolfa, says many of the existing HVNLs remain unchanged, but there is now an overarching primary duty regulation that is in line with workplace health and safety laws.
“The first person to be penalised under these new provisions is in for a rude shock,”
“Operators may be sleep-walking into some significant penalties if they haven’t done the appropriate risk assessments, and ensured their practices are compliant.
“In a lot of ways, it is the calm before the storm for the industry at the moment, as and when penalties are administered, and cases brought, these enforcement changes are really going to be felt.”
The law firm say the primary duty imposed by the CoR provisions makes it so that if the provisions of the HVNL are breached all members of the supply chain may be liable for loss or damage, as well as the significant penalties that can flow from those breaches.
“While publicity surrounding the introduction has led some operators to tighten up their practices, others have been less circumspect,” Ms Guerra-Stolfa said.
“The burden is on all members of the supply chain now to ensure that they have taken all steps reasonably practical to guarantee safety and reduce the risks of harm.”
Not sure if your business is meeting the new requirements? Ms Guerra-Stolfa recommends you seek legal advice.
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