Heavy vehicle supply chain roles and responsibilities


Heavy vehicle supply chain roles and responsibilities


As a manager or worker in the supply chain, you are obligated to ensure the safe and legal transportation of goods within Australia. A breach of Heavy Vehicle National Laws can result in a legal prosecution.

It’s important to be aware of the roles and responsibilities of each party in the supply chain. Often, businesses will refer to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) to ensure all legalities are adhered to.

The Chain of Responsibility is an area of compliance ensuring everyone in the supply chain is held accountable for unsafe practices in the heavy chemical industry.

This can be further explained as:

Control = responsibility = legal liability

This article includes a summary of the responsibilities held accountable by those in the Heavy Vehicle National industry. It will cover the responsibilities of the following:

  • Heavy vehicle operators, managers and schedulers
  • Consignors and receivers
  • Loading managers, loaders and packers

For the entire list of responsibilities, please visit the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator website.

A heavy vehicle operator, manager and scheduler’s primary responsibilities

A manager and scheduler works behind the scenes to ensure the safety of operators and road users.

Schedulers must implement procedures and systems to ensure each trip is successfully scheduled, assessed and recorded before the vehicle moves onto the road.

A driver must be able to readily access all information necessary to be able to successfully, safely and legally carry out their work.

Here are an operator, manager and scheduler’s responsibilities:

  • Schedules must take into account the speed limit, distance and hours to travel and required rest stops. A driver must not need to speed or skip mandatory rest stops.
  • A scheduler must take reasonable steps to ensure the driver will not be working while fatigued.
  • All driver activities are documented including break times.
  • Vehicles are regularly maintained and fitted with the appropriate equipment.
  • The vehicle is loaded within the maximum dimension limit and does not weigh more than the maximum mass.
  • Freight containers must have a valid Container Weight Declaration.

Operators must have access to all the necessary information and training they need effectively complete their job in a lawful manner. If this information is not readily accessible or not achievable then the scheduler or manager must review the process, procedures and systems.

The responsibilities of a heavy vehicle consignor and receiver

A consignor is responsible for the safe delivery of the goods to the consignee or buyer. Both the consignor and receiver have a primary responsibility to ensure safety and road laws are adhered to. Therefore, these parties must ensure that:

  • The heavy vehicle driver doesn’t exceed work and rest hours. The driver must take all minimum rest breaks and not drive while fatigued.
  • The driver must not feel rushed or exceed the speed limit to deliver the goods faster than scheduled.
  • The consignor and receiver must ensure the goods don’t exceed dimension limits or mass limits.
  • Goods must be safely secured in the vehicle.

The actions of a consignor or receiver must not compromise the road safety of a driver or other road users. As an example, there must not be an award to encourage delivering the goods faster as this may breach speed road rules.

It’s the consignor or receiver’s duty to ensure they request all information from responsible parties (such as schedulers) to ensure systems are in place and compliance is met.

Heavy vehicle loading manager, loader and packer’s responsibilities

A loading manager, loader or packer needs to ensure a vehicle is fitted properly so that it does not cause a risk to the driver or impede the safety of road users.

Loaders and packers must comply with the following:

  • Work with other off-road parties to ensure reasonable time is provided to efficiently manage to load and unload the vehicle.
  • A contingency plan is in place for unexpected conditions or jobs. As an example, a driver may experience an unexpected road delay which increases their travel time. The driver must not need to speed to get to the location on time.
  • The vehicle’s load doesn’t exceed the dimension and the container’s gross weight or safety approval rating to be exceeded.
  • The load is arranged in a way it will not fall or move in the vehicle.
  • Documentation about the vehicle’s load is clear and simple to understand.
  • The loader or packer doesn’t do or say anything that may involve a breach in road laws.

An effective way to ensure compliance is to develop a loading and unpacking plan. This will help ensure the safety of all parties involved.

Workplace safety is non-negotiable

All heavy vehicle duty holders must ensure their actions (or inactions) do not lead to (or encourage) a beach in Heavy Vehicle National Laws.

This article has outlined the key duties of a worker in the heavy vehicle supply chain. Implementing a Chain of Responsibility system is a cost-effective way to ensure compliance. BusinessBasics can audit an existing Chain of Responsibility system and identify any areas for improvement. Or can develop a new system that adheres with Heavy Vehicle National Laws.

Get in touch with our team for more information about your supply chain responsibilities.

BusinessBasics can audit CoR systems across Australia, including Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Newcastle.

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