Chain of Responsibility
The Chain of Responsibility is a concept used in the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) which recognises that multiple parties in the supply chain may be responsible for offences committed by the drivers and operators of heavy vehicles. Each party in the chain who has the capacity to influence and control a transport activity must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of that activity, including by:
- eliminating or minimising public risks; and
- ensuring the party does not directly or indirectly cause or encourage the driver of the heavy vehicle or another person to contravene the HVNL, or the driver to exceed a speed limit.
The definition of ‘transport activities’ is broad and means all activities, including business practices and making decisions, associated with the use of a heavy vehicle on the road.
Meeting the duty will require a shared understanding of what the hazards and risks of the transport activity are and what each party in the chain of responsibility will do to control the risks. You will need to identify the other parties in the chain whose actions and decisions affect the safety of your transport activities, consult and cooperate with them, and coordinate activities to ensure the safety measures you each put in place work effectively together. Ensure any contracts clearly specify who is responsible for what.
Further guidance on Chain of Responsibility is available in the Master Code. This Code applies to all persons and businesses involved in the transport activity of a heavy vehicle. It addresses the risks associated with the four key areas regulated under the HVNL:
- speed compliance
- fatigue management
- mass, dimension and loading
- vehicle standards
The templates provided here can be used to assist Chain of Responsibility compliance and should be modified to suit your business and transport activities.