On 1 October 2018, the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) was amended to provide that every party in the heavy vehicle transport supply chain has a duty to ensure the safety of their transport activities.

The supply chain extends to corporate entities, directors, partners and managers who are all accountable for the actions of people under their control.  All parties in the supply chain must take reasonable steps to prevent breaches of HVNL, including road transport mass, dimension, loading and speed compliance.

In practical terms, this primary duty represents an obligation to eliminate or minimise potential harm or loss (risk) by doing all that is reasonably practicable to ensure safety.

Under the new heavy vehicle laws timber companies must carry out the following:

  • Document Chain of Responsibility (CoR) into your safety system. This includes CoR policies, responsibilities, safety procedures, risk assessment and incident investigation documentation.
  • Carry out risk assessments on loading / unloading and transport activities in your workplace including the stability of loads on trucks.
  • Manage compliance with speed, fatigue, mass, dimension, loading and vehicle standards for any truck drivers you employ or directly contract.
  • Gain evidence that contract truck driving companies are managing compliance with speed, fatigue, mass, dimension, loading and vehicle standards for their drivers.
  • Make sure your company or the contract truck driving company is not scheduling trips that cause truck drivers to speed or become fatigued to meet unrealistic deadlines.
  • Training people involved in the loading / unloading and transport at your workplace in your COR documentation.
  • Consult with workers involved in the loading / unloading and transport of material at your workplace regarding safety issues and controls. Document this consultation as part of your safety
  • Report to company managers and transport companies any safety issues relating to heavy vehicles and make sure you have documented incident reporting procedures and forms.
  • Document actions taken to manage safety relating to heavy vehicles.
  • Audit CoR as part of your safety system audits.
FTMA Australia Members can access Chain of Responsibility Documentation via the members only section of the website, FTMA News, to assist their companies in complying with their responsibilities in this area.

These include:

Chain of Responsibility Policy 2018

Chain of Responsibility Program 2018

Chain of Responsibility Risk Assessment 2018

Chain of Responsibility Incident, Hazard, Near Miss Reporting Form 2018

Chain of Responsibility Road Transport Contractors’ Checklist 2018

Truck Driver Fatigue Management Plan

Truck Drivers’ Policy

Vehicle and Truck Maintenance and Service Register 2018

FTMA Members should be in no doubt that a safety management system is the most effective way to assist your business with your Chain of Responsibility obligations to manage risk.

Whilst these policies and documents are important, they are by themselves, not enough and we encourage all FTMA Members to ensure they have a Safety Management System in place.

Timber Trade Industrial Association are the experts when it comes to industrial relations and OHS issues within the timber industry.  TTIA have put together a special deal for FTMA Members and can help you develop a Safety Management System at a cost of $2200+GST (plus travel costs).

We strongly urge you to contact them on (02) 9264 0011 or via email at ttia@ttia.asn.au to ensure you are covered with this critical legislation as this is something you cannot ignore.