What is Chain of Responsibility? Here’s how we’ve got you covered

The Chain of Responsibility (CoR) concept was originally developed due to heavy vehicle drivers bearing a disproportionate amount of legal responsibility when a breach of the National Heavy Vehicle Law (NHVL) occurred, compared to that of other stakeholders within a supply chain who have influence or control over the drivers’ actions.

Chain of Responsibility is a major aspect of the NHVR laws and regulations, it was introduced to ensure that everyone in a supply chain shares responsibility in making sure a breach does not occur, and if it does then those involved are liable for the role they played.

The parties considered as being a part of the CoR for heavy vehicles are:

  • an employer of a driver
  • a prime contractor for the driver – if the vehicle’s driver is self-employed
  • an operator of the vehicle
  • a scheduler for the vehicle
  • a loading manager for any goods in the vehicle
  • a loader and/or unloader of a vehicle
  • a consignor of any goods for transport by the vehicle
  • a consignee of any goods in the vehicle
  • a loader and/or unloader of any goods in the vehicle.

A lack of Victorian CoR data is available, however as of January 2014 NSW had laid over 4500 CoR charges to a variety of individuals from different parts of the chain. The people involved in those charges included but was not limited to 45 company directors, 9 consignees and 60 consignors, highlighting how anybody can be made to answer for a breach.

More recently, charges have just been filed on a South Australian company and its executives for an incident that occurred in February 2019. These charges stem from the incorrect restraint of a heavy vehicle load, by a person with neither the training nor experience to be undergoing such activities. Inevitably, the driver was forced to suddenly stop at a traffic light, leading to the load coming free of its restraints and smashing the rear of the cabin.

Although this incident only involved a driver, the charges have been laid on multiple parties, as they did not responsibly manage their role in the chain via providing the relevant training.

It’s important when assessing your carrier or network of carriers that you take ask questions around their CoR track record and the processes they have in place to minimise the risk of a breach occurring.

How Yellow Express has got you covered 

At Yellow Express we take our commitment to being the safest and most reliable carrier in Victoria seriously, that means ensuring our training and compliance processes are first class, to protect our team and our clients.  

Prospective Driver Checks

Before drivers can advance through our application process, we run police checks, VEVO (visa) checks, as well as license, registration, and insurance checks. Additionally, we physically inspect driver vehicles and ensure service records are up to date.

Driver Inductions

All of our drivers are inducted, undergoing safety and CoR compliance training, drivers cannot progress to operating before this is completed. At Yellow Express we treat every driver as a heavy vehicle operator, whether they’re operating a heavy vehicle or not, understanding the regulations and why they’re in place is paramount to being part of our fleet. Drivers also conduct a refresher training session on a bi-annual basis.

Staff Training

It isn’t just drivers that need to be compliant and understanding of NHVR laws, all of our operational staff undertake a continuous education process that ensures current and complete understanding of compliance requirements across all players in our supply chains.

Technology

Our commitment is real – we have invested heavily in our systems to ensure that we can provide our fleet and our clients with a robust, auditable and fail-safe system of compliance management.

Our Transport Management System (TMS) is equipped with an industry-sector first automated driver fatigue & compliance management program. Through this system drivers are unable to complete an action if their required break is due, their license has expired or if their vehicle registration has expired. Our team of fleet controllers are also here to act as further compliance safety net.

Our system does not allow a driver to proceed with a job unless photo’s have been taken of the constrained load and positive affirmation that the load is properly constrained. Our system is auditable, with a full digital and pictorial history of every job – taking the pain out of managing third-party transport provider compliance and giving you, your staff and your company directors peace of mind.