January 2018 – Changes to the Chain of Responsibility (COR) laws commence in mid 2018. Businesses which consign, pack, load or receive goods could be held legally liable for breaches of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), even though they have no direct role in driving or operating a heavy vehicle. In addition, individuals in the business such as directors, partners and senior management may be personally liable. These laws have a direct impact on many of our retail, ecommerce and small business clients.
The aim of COR is to make sure everyone in the supply chain shares equal responsibility for ensuring compliance with the HVNL. Under COR laws, if you are a party in the chain of responsibility and you exercise (or have the capability of exercising) control or influence over any transport task, you have a responsibility to ensure the HVNL is complied with.
In practical terms, there is an obligation to eliminate or minimise potential harm or risk by doing all that is reasonably practicable to ensure safety. As a party in the supply chain, the best way to do this is to have safety management systems and controls in place, such as business practices, training, procedures and review processes.
2 January 2018