At a recent LSS client workshop, experts explained the impact of COR reforms to be implemented by the end of 2018.  The reforms serve to highlight the increasing exposure to prosecution and the need for a risk management approach.

Michael Crellin, Manager of COR Compliance at the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and Nathan Cecil, Partner at Holding Redlich lawyers, articulated that the reforms are a result of the alignment between COR and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws.

The key impacts are:

  • Introducing a ‘Primary Duty’ on Directors and Officers of a business to properly manage truck safety & compliance within their business and supply chain
  • Enabling COR prosecution based on a company’s lack of COR risk management, even in the event that there is no on-road incident
  • Changing the onus of proof from the defendant to the prosecutor
  • Requiring a ‘risk management’ approach to COR management. That is, identifying all risks associated with truck safety & compliance and implementing actions to address each risk
  • Significantly increasing maximum fines & penalties in 3 categories of severity:
    • Category 3 – breaches safety duty – $50,000 Individual; $500,000 Corporation
    • Category 2 – risk of death/injury – $100,000 Individual; $1m Corporation
    • Category 1 – recklessness – 3 years imprisonment – $300,000 Individual $3m Corporation

What is Primary Duty?

Michael Crelin from NHVR explained the meaning of ‘Primary Duties’ as:

  • Each party in the Chain of Responsibility for a heavy vehicle must, so far as is reasonably practicable, ensure the safety of the party’s transport activities relating to the vehicle.
  • Without limiting the first notation, each party must, so far as is reasonably practicable:
    • remove public risks and, to the extent that is not reasonably practicable, minimise the public risks; and
    • ensure the party’s conduct does not directly or indirectly cause or encourage:
      • the driver of the heavy vehicle to contravene this Law; or
      • another person, including another party in the chain of responsibility, to contravene this Law.

So, what does this all mean?

In simple terms, the enabling framework is tightening for the industry as COR and OHS align with their guiding principles.   Without proper and due risk-management processes in place, there remains the possibility that you, or your company, are subject to investigation by authorities, irrespective of whether a truck operating within your supply chain has been involved in an accident.  By way of comparison, many may be familiar with the long-running ad campaign, whereby WorkSafe inspectors can arrive without notice.

How we can help

If your business has trucks operating within its supply chain, the ‘Primary Duty’ responsibility effectively mandates that you have a risk management system in place to manage truck safety & compliance. This is the case even if truck activities are outsourced.

LSS is one of the pioneers in COR management in Australia. Our COR System is used by clients, which represent a number of leading brands in Australia, to manage truck safety & compliance risks within their supply chains.

For further information, contact us on (03) 5984 49895 or email paulg@logss.com.au