The Western Australian Compliance & Enforcement Bill (Chain of Responsibility) will bring with it major changes to the way that transport companies are regulated.
In March 2014, Chain of Responsibility (CoR) will be introduced as law, which may bring with it issues important to your particular transport business, including prosecution and fines for those who breach these laws.
In September 2013 Main Roads Western Australia and the Department of Transport, presented by Mike Wood Managing Director of Latus, held a series of information sessions that introduced to the concepts of CoR to 100’s of attendees across WA, as to how CoR laws will need to be incorporated into their daily business practices, as well as policies and procedures.
So what do you need to do next?
To begin with; when dealing with any legislative changes in your business, it is important to know your minimum obligations, how they may affect your daily practices and what you risk if you do not meet these obligations.
To meet the minimum requirements, CoR requires that all commercial vehicles traveling 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
Under CoR the new rules that apply are (but are not limited to):
- Under CoR, everyone is accountable – the company, its staff and any drivers that the company engage (directly or indirectly);
- CoR 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;
- CoR applies to inbound and outbound products, where a company has control of what is leaving and arriving at their site;
- It is incumbent on companies to have in place auditable systems that demonstrate to authorities their compliance with legislation in an ongoing and consistent manner
What you risk:
- Authorised officers have inspection and investigative powers to stop and ground vehicles, enter premises and seize documents and more;
- Prosecution and fines ranging from a few thousand to up to several million dollars.
- Corporate or senior managers face personal fines, as well as lengthy community service orders.
- In addition to monetary fines Courts may also impose other penalties, including;
- commercial benefits orders, and;
- compensation orders
Steps towards compliance
You will need to engage a company with expertise in CoR, to ensure that;
- A gap analysis is performed to highlight areas of non compliance and weakness;
- Your staff are trained and proficient in CoR;
- Implementation of correct use of accreditation schemes where your processes and procedures are audited for compliance with the Legislation;
- That procedures put in place are commercially viable as well as compliant
Latus is the recognized expert in CoR. Latus wrote and developed the original CoR code of conduct for CoR as well as developing many industry code of practices, including the CoR code of practice for the “Refrigerated Warehouse Traders Association”.
Latus is committed to consulting with industry when preparing its training programs and solutions in relation to CoR that may have an impact on their commercial operations.