Effectively the Australian Compliance and Enforcement ( Chain of Responsibility ) model legislation is “umbrella” legislation that encompasses road rules in its own state. For example, fatigue; maximum work hours in NSW & Victoria are only 15, in Queensland its 16 and in WA 17. Although the hours differ from state to state the Chain of Responsibility legislation takes into account these variations. As such because the hours vary it does not mean the impact of breaching state fatigue hours does.
So what areas are covered under Chain of Responsibility?
we recently saved one company from over $510,000 in statutory fines
There are a series of prime 10 areas covered which are:
- Load restraint
- Mass Management
- Speed control & management
- Drugs & Alcohol & Driver Health
- Equipment suitability & maintenance
- Documentation & Training
- Subcontractor/Supplier Control & Assessment
- Operational facilities
These 10 areas may be well established or not, within a business and many businesses consider themselves in full control of these areas. However, if an incident occurred and an investigation followed could you say “yes” to the following questions if they were asked about the 10 areas;
- Do you have a Policy that covers “X” – show me?
- Do you have Procedure that covers “X” – show me?
- Have you implemented that P&P for “X” – show me?
- Have you implemented Active Education for CoR – show me?
- Can you provide demonstrable documentary evidence of what you have done in 1, 2, 3 & 4 – show me?
Alien to Transport Industry Practises
This line of questioning is viewed as somewhat alien to the transport and logistics industry, as we are mainly “doers” and just get on with what we need to do to service a customer. Policies, procedures, training and particularly documentation is often low on our priority list. Backs of envelopes and hands, “Post It” notes and white boards are primary documentation sources and will not fulfil the requirements of Chain of Responsibility.
Critical Aspect of Chain of Responsibility
The next critical aspect of this is; are your customers and suppliers able to do the same? They are a part of your chain a much as you are of theirs. What have you got in place to ensure they are doing the right thing by you?
Where are you now and where should you be
Chain of Responsibility is really only now being enforced so not all businesses know where they sit in relation to the legislation and what they need to do to be compliant. I know of companies that have spent significant amounts of money ensuring they are legally compliant with the law and set up elaborate contracts to protect themselves. There are others that have a “mate” who has Chain of Responsibility compliance and copied their manual with some new logos on it, assuming they will be compliant. Rather than spend money on a shotgun approach to Chain of Responsibility, get a “Gap analysis” conducted, then you will know what needs to be done, to what level and when. We provide these Gap Analysis. We Can Help – We are the Recognised Specialists in Chain of Responsibility in Australia.