Chain of Responsibility obligations

Public news

On 1 October 2018 the National Heavy Vehicle Law (NHVL) and the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) will introduce a number of changes that will have a significant impact on business that deal with heavy vehicles, regardless of what that involvement is.

These changes will affect anyone who is in the CoR, including:

  • Drivers;
  • Owners;
  • Consignors;
  • Schedulers;
  • Loaders;
  • Packers; and
  • Unloaders

A new primary duty will be introduced on all members of the CoR to try and align them more closely with the workplace health and safety laws. This means that even though you may not have any direct role in driving a vehicle that subsequently is involved in an accident, you still may be liable.

To be liable there needs to be a transport activity being undertaken, which will be given a broad definition in the NHVL, meaning that if you have an interaction with a heavy vehicle it is likely to fall in this category. What will be considered as a transport activity includes:

  • Receiving goods unloaded from a vehicle;
  • Packing goods into a vehicle;
  • Contracting someone to drive a vehicle;
  • Directing someone to drive a vehicle;
  • Repairing a vehicle;
  • Leasing a vehicle; or,
  • Selling a vehicle.

Each member in the chain will now have to ensure that they take steps that are reasonably practicable to ensure safety and avoid a potential breach of the NHVL.

Most importantly it will no longer be necessary for a contravention of the NHVL to occur before someone may be held to be in breach. It will be sufficient that you do not have adequate policies or procedures in place to ensure that you are doing all that is reasonably practicable to prevent a breach.

To prepare your business for these changes you must have policies and procedures in place to show that the right measures are being taken to ensure that the law is being complied with and that everyone in the chain is informed of their obligations. If you need any help with these policies and procedures or want to access to template, click here to contact the MTA for assistance.

It is highly recommended that members who have interactions with Heavy Vehicles attend our NHVL - CoR training on October 24 2018 so that we can go into further detail of how to ensure that your business will be prepared for these changes and limit your liability.

If you would like to register your interest in this course please call the MTA on 8291 2000 or email