Chain of Responsibility set to save lives

The transport industry should welcome changes to legislation brought about by the introduction of Chain of Responsibility (CoR).

CoR legislation focuses on road accidents involving commercial vehicles, and is a method that extends OH&S beyond the walls of your business. CoR an important legislation which aims to ensure organizational accountability and a consistent delivery of safe quality service.

The object of CoR is not to apportion guilt, or to make operations for transport companies more difficult, but to ultimately establish programs and technologies that offer the transport industry risk based solutions to reduce the number of trucks involved in serious crashes. Put simply CoR legislation when implemented correctly, will save lives.

Research shows that about 330 people are killed each year due to heavy vehicle accidents, and that accidents involving trucks (over 4.5 tonnes) killed 50% more people, worse still these numbers are increasing each year.

In WA alone, Main Roads figures show there were more than 11,500 crashes between 2008-12 involving trucks on WA roads. To put these figures into perspective, however, in three out of four cases no other vehicles were involved in the accident.

In accident investigation report involving commercial vehicles over 4.5 tonnes, carried out by NTI, it was found that:

  • Over 30% of accidents were caused by speed
  • 10% of accidents were caused by driver fatigue (a study by Curtain University found that truck drivers who have not completed fatigue-management training are six times more likely to crash)
  • 10% of accidents were caused by fire
  • 5% of accidents were caused by mechanical failure
  • 15% of accidents were caused by driver error
  • 5% of accidents were caused by contributory negligence

In response to this type of research, CoR requires that all commercial vehicles travelling on roads comply with the legislation which applies to:

  • Weight or total vehicle mass
  • Vehicle dimensions Length, width height
  • Driver fatigue and working conditions
  • Vehicle suitability and maintenance
  • Load restraints.
  • Driving Hours
  • Dangerous Goods
  • Hazardous Goods
  • Mass Limits
  • Load Restraint
  • Speed
  • Legal failure (log books) and Speed.

It should be noted that CoR legislation does not seek to hold the driver solely accountable for all accidents, one of the most significant aspects of CoR is that it extends beyond the driver to include those who have any influence on the chain, meaning; anyone who has contracted or requested a driver to undertake a task, be it direct or inferred. The intention of CoR  is to ensure what comes in and out of your site is legal.Under CoR, everyone is accountable – the company, its staff and any drivers that the company engage

At its heart, CoR seeks to improve road safety by the removal of economic incentives for truck drivers to work longer and drive further, faster.

Apart from the possible fines and prosecution that can be enforced under CoR companies need to look closely at the statistics and be part of the improvement of the industry.

Latus are the industry experts in CoR contact us for help today.

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Emma Baker

Emma Baker is a senior consultant for Latus. Emma has a background in communications and marketing, with a focus on business development. Her primary focus for Latus is assisting in spearheading the growth and direction of the company´s marketing initiatives in Australia as well as; channel development, strategic partnerships, brand image, and customer acquisition through both online and offline advertising. Emma resides in Melbourne Victoria and holds a degree in Business from Victoria University and Arts, from the University of Ballarat.

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