Changes to Australia’s Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) will come into effect on Monday, 1 October 2018.
The changes align the HVNL more closely with the model Work Health and Safety Act, by introducing:
- a new primary duty on every party in the “heavy vehicle supply chain” to ensure the safety of transport activities; and
- a new due diligence obligation on “executive officers”.
The parties in the heavy vehicle supply chain include any business that dispatches, packs, loads or receives goods by heavy vehicles or that drives, operates or schedules deliveries by heavy vehicles, if they exercise (or have the capability of exercising) control or influence over any transport task. Under the changes to the HVNL, all of these businesses and their executive officers will be subject to new primary duties and may face severe penalties for non-compliance.
Further changes being introduced on 1 October include the option to use enforceable undertakings as an alternative to prosecution for certain offences and additional information gathering powers for authorised officers.
To prepare for the upcoming changes, parties in the heavy vehicle supply chain should educate management and staff regarding the changes and consider what steps could and should be taken to manage the risks associated with their transport services so far as is reasonably practicable.
More information about the changes is available here: https://www.nhvr.gov.au/safety-accreditation-compliance/chain-of-responsibility/changes-to-cor