Compliance and Enforcement (Chain of Responsibility) impacts on Sub Contractor Management.

The Western Australian the new Compliance and Enforcement (Chain of Responsibility) will have significant impacts on Sub Contractor Management.

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From recent media releases you will no doubt be aware that the Eastern States have really started to make Compliance and Enforcement (Chain of Responsibility) bite over there. There have been 4500 prosecutions . The biggest change that is being seen is the shift from transport drivers to those who authorise and commission transport. This is rapidly expanding to Directors & Managers of transport companies and their customers. The Directors of Blenners Transport in Qld have been charged with various offences and Coles Ltd has been put on notice by NSW RMS. The Cootes/McAleese tanker incident is also causing some concerns with VicRoads finding vehicle road worthy issues with the fleet and the company taking a positive initiative to stand down the fleet until full checks could be completed. As a result of a series of incidents around the country many larger organisation that contract transport services are concerned that they may be vulnerable to prosecution. They are rightly concerned under the legislation all levels of the “Logistics chain” are required to ensure that the upstream and downstream customers and suppliers are complying with the requirements. Basically the term “ensure the provider complies”. Many of the larger consumers of transport are now initiating 3rd party audits of their transport suppliers to ensure they are complying with the legislation. This is clearly demonstrates the obligations under Compliance and Enforcement (Chain of Responsibility) are now being enforced.

Consignor/Receiver Responsibility Actions

As a Consignor/Receiver you have commissioned someone to move product for you. In many cases it’s a matter of picking up the phone and asking for a pick up or delivery. As a one off item occurrence that’s probably about as much as you need to do. However, if the type of work you are doing is repeated even with though with different carriers, there is an obligation to do some checking on how they are complying with Compliance and Enforcement (Chain of Responsibility). Now let’s not forget in WA this includes anything that is moved on public roads in whatever size vehicle, as such a courier van to a road train is included. You may not even be a large business, you might be the local Pizza shop that commissions the carriage of a Capriciosa and garlic bread via a scooter delivery, you need to ensure your provider complies!

So what do you need to do?

You need to develop some method, policy and procedure that will provide you with sufficient information to be satisfied and deemed to have taken “Reasonable Steps” to ensure the services you are using are compliant with law. The provider needs to supply the information under a statutory declaration or certification, or you must conduct your own audit of the provider to satisfy the requirements. The provider may offer you a contractual guarantee that all legal requirements will be met and not to worry. A word of warning; this is not sufficient in the event of an investigation, clear evidence of provider compliance is needed. Some (but not all) items to check are:

  • All loads properly restrained
  • All drivers licenced and insured
  • All drivers working within legal hours
  • All loads within legal mass limits
  • All Vehicles dimensions within the law (or permits)
  • All DG carried legally
  • All Equipment properly maintained
  • All equipment ‘fit for purpose”

Transport Company Responsibility Actions

As a transport company the same needs to be done with your subcontractors, you need to ensure that all subcontractors comply with the requirements of Compliance and Enforcement (Chain of Responsibility. Again If you engage a subcontractor you need to ensure that they are engaged properly and you continually check on their compliance to C&E. Inherently, transport companies will be expected to have a greater knowledge of Compliance and Enforcement (Chain of Responsibility and transport law than those engaging their services, sadly out of the hundreds of audit we have conducted many transport companies know less about Compliance and Enforcement (Chain of Responsibility than those who engage them or think it will never happen to them and refuse to do nothing about their compliance. On many occasions we have been called to a transport company at short notice to set up Compliance and Enforcement (Chain of Responsiblity within days, just several hours after significant prosecution notices have been issued by a state transport Authority. Transport companies in the main are the most reactive group and will do nothing until “it” hits the fan. Often the these companies will preach the virtues to a company of outsourcing their transport to transport experts, but do not follow the same path and outsource their compliance to compliance experts.   To find out more about Subcontractor Engagement systems and maintenance and how to ensure you do not fall foul of legislation Contact Latus on 1300 008 386

Remember under CoR legislation


Doing nothing is not an option

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Mike Wood

Mike is qualified in both Civil and Mechanical Engineering, with Post Graduate qualifications in Logistics and Business Administration and is a qualified RABQSA/Exemplar auditor. The initial phase of his career involved public roads and transportation authorities in technical and management roles with both VicRoads and the Victorian Ministry of Transport and designed Melbourne’s time public transport system Mike then moved into private industry and over several years, held General Manager positions with major logistics service providers with turnovers in excess of $500 million. As his expertise and knowledge grew he moved into consulting and became Principal Consultant with Dawson Consulting, one of the largest Supply Chain and Logistics consulting companies in Australia Mike is now Managing Director of LATUS Business Solutions, which is a highly regarded Business Improvement practice, operating in 3 major area; • Supply Chain & Logistics design; • Compliance implementation & management; • Risk analysis& Safety management • Leading training provider (RTO) in the area of Lean Logistics & Business He has been a Director of transport and logistics industry associations in Queensland and Victoria.

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