National Operating Standards
A National Operating Standard is key to improving safety and efficiency
ALC believes heavy vehicle safety would be improved if the HVNL adopted a National Operating Standard with the following four elements:
- Creating a list of operators in the heavy vehicle industry
Operators would identify who is operating a heavy vehicle and where it is garaged. Among other things, this helps monitor and control the incidence of phoenixing in the industry.
- Making safety management systems mandatory
Operators should maintain a safety management system (SMS) meeting specified standards contained in the HVNL.
SMS, appropriately scaled to business needs, are a well-known tool designed to manage workplace risk and improve safety.
For the purposes of the HVNL, the Standards should ensure that an operator has a system compliant with the Master Code of Practice made under the National Law.
This would provide:
- communities with assurance that operators have systems in place to manage safety; and
- create productivity gains through a reduction in audit duplication through the provision of a common set of standards.
- Ensuring operators have the capital required to properly maintain their heavy vehicles
Operators will need to have access to specific amounts of capital so vehicles can be maintained.
- Mandatory collection of data
Operators need to capture data using equipment that is compatible with standards under the National Telematics Framework. This would allow:
- road owners to fully understand the volumes of heavy vehicle traffic on their networks;
- the collection of accurate data on vehicle speed and the amount of time a vehicle has been in operation which
- helps operators with compliance to ensure they meet their legal obligations; and
- helps road owners make quicker decisions on road access.
It will be an opportunity lost if the National Operating Standard concept is not fully tested as the law reform process continues.