Chain of Responsibility

April 8, 2019


Under the new Chain of Responsibility (CoR) Laws that came into effect last year, everyone is required to take a proactive approach to risk management. Every person, including head management, within the supply chain is legally liable if there is an incident. Records and documentation of safety management systems are required. CoR is important for every department or industry within the supply chain, from maintenance, to construction, to operations and management, it will affect you and your business.


The purpose of the new laws is to take the pressure of drivers, so now for example if a load is not secured adequately, then it is not just the driver who will be held responsible. For any breach in the HVNL, anyone and everyone can be held legally liable. If everyone is required to be responsible for safety, than it is less likely an important issue will be missed that could lead to an accident.


The CoR changes are all about risk management, requiring parties in the chain to actively identify, assess and control hazards and transportation risks. So what is required?


You must Eliminate/minimise public risk. Put in place procedures that protect the safety of staff, drivers and the general public, including the risk of damage to infrastructure.


Ensure that no-one encourages drivers to contravene HVNL. This includes things like putting pressure on drivers to deliver goods faster than possible which could then encourage speeding or the cutting of corners when loading goods.


The penalties for not complying with CoR:

  1. Recklessly exposing someone to a risk of death or serious injury/illness without a reasonable excuse. Penalty: $3 million for a corporation, $300k/5 years jail time for an individual.

  2. Exposing someone or multiple people to a risk of death or serious illness/injury. Penalty: $1.5 million for a corporation,$150K for an individual

  3. Person contravenes the primary duty. Penalty: $500K for a corporation, $50k for an individual


Previously action was only taken when something went wrong, however under the new CoR Laws you have to prove that you are proactively identifying hazards and are working to remove, and where possible completely minimise/eliminate risks. So the most important thing to take away from the new laws is that you are now required to actively manage safety.


To speak to someone about how your business can improve safety compliance contact one of our specialists at Visium Networks.  

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