Chain Of Responsibility (COR) Legislation was developed by the National Transport Commission in consultation with key stakeholders as a framework for improved compliance across the road transport industry.
The legislation (under the Heavy Vehicle National Law) aimed to ensure that every party in the transport supply chain – including employers, drivers, receivers of the goods, loading managers and primary producers – shares equal responsibility for ensuring that breaches of the road transport laws do not occur, either through action or inaction. In simple terms, the legislation means that influence equals responsibility which equals legal liability.
The laws had the following positive intentions:
- Improve road safety
- Make a demonstrable, positive change in the on-road behaviour of those involved in the transport industry
- Encourage compliance with the requirements of the road transport law
- Reduce damage to infrastructure
- Benefit the environment
- Promote a level playing field
- Create an environment of accountability and fair competition
- Improve enforcement
- Improve business efficiency and compliance
COR legislation not only levels the playing field for all parties in the transport industry, it is good for business on many other levels too.
Let’s look at some of the benefits to business. Firstly, a safer road network is beneficial to the wider community – not just the transport industry – and should lead to fewer accidents and less downtime due to injury or rehabilitation. The positive change in on-road behaviour of those involved in the transport industry will also hopefully translate into safer roads.
COR is also good for business because it can lead to improved workplace morale and more motivated staff. Drivers now know they have a safety net of the COR legislation and they can’t be expected to operate within unrealistic timeframes or knowingly breach laws, such as overloading of vehicles. In the past, they may have been under pressure to commit offences which may have put them (and others) at risk – but with COR, responsibility is shared and legal liability applies to all parties
COR also eliminates the opportunity for drivers or any other party to be incentivised or rewarded to break the law – so it promotes a culture of honesty and transparency, which is good for business.
To put the legislation in perspective, let’s look at an example of where COR would apply and why it would be good for business. Take a company that historically would consistently overload its transport vehicles. Now, any load which contravenes mass, dimension or loading requirements falls under the realm of COR and in a prosecution, the courts may consider the actions of each party in the supply chain to ascertain what measures those parties put in place to ensure that the law wasn’t breached. In order to ensure compliance, everyone in the supply chain has to take charge of their own areas of responsibility, systems have to be adhered to and processes carefully followed – which all boils down to the fact that the law keeps everyone on their toes and improves business efficiencies at the same time.
Weighbridges have a crucial role to play when it comes to COR compliance in terms of vehicle loading. Responsibility for ensuring that vehicles are not loaded in a way which exceeds (or causes the vehicle to exceed) mass or dimension limits can sit with anyone from the operator to the schedule, the consignor to the consignee to the loading manager and the packer to the driver – so it is essential that the accuracy and reliability of the weighbridge is not compromised in any way.
To learn more about weighbridges, you should talk to Australia’s largest supplier of weighbridges, weighing scales and product inspection equipment. With a portfolio of over 1000 weighbridge installations throughout Australasia, AccuWeigh has all the experience necessary to provide the best solution to suit all vehicle weighing applications – fully supported by weighbridge service crews located in all mainland states. Contact your nearest branch today.