Chain of Responsibility
In Australia, there are over 528,000 commercial heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) that make more than 300,000 000 trips p.a. A HGV is a vehicle with a gross vehicle mass of 4.5 tonnes or greater and which is used to transport goods on the road.
The Dangers of Overloading a HGV
Due to the dangers it presents, it is a criminal offence to exceed a mass limit on a heavy vehicle.
Overloaded heavy vehicles:
Affect the safety of drivers and all road users
- They are a major cause of crashes that result in injuries and fatalities.
- Even minimal overloading affects heavy vehicle stability, so the vehicle takes longer to stop after braking.
Chain of Responsibility. It’s everyone’s business.
The NHVR’s Chain of Responsibility (CoR) provisions, which were incorporated into the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) in 2013, mean that anyone controlling or influencing heavy vehicle operations, not just drivers, has to comply with the law.
Drivers, loaders, packers, weighbridge staff, consignors, managers, and senior executives are responsible for preventing overloading, if they influence the mass of the vehicle or its load.
CoR changes that will come into effect in mid-2018 mean that each party in the Chain of Responsibility for a heavy vehicle now has a Primary Duty which includes that they must, so far as is reasonably practicable, ensure the safety of road transport operations, including operations outside of their direct control, within their broader supply chain.
Reasonably practicable means something that is, or was at the time reasonably able to be done to ensure health and safety.
The practical aspects of this Primary Duty include the need for each party to identify, monitor and manage risk using controls, practices and technologies.
Therefore, everyone in the supply chain must ensure that systems are in place to address heavy vehicle safety. The NHVR’s recent update states, ‘The new guidelines will be exacting, robust and demanding to assure the Regulator and all road-users that regulatory compliance and safety risks are being appropriately addressed.’
Which leads us to the subject of mass management and overloading...and the sound reasons why the safe & legal loading of HGVs needn't be based on guesswork!
Avoid overloading fines | Maximise payloads | Reduce OH&S Risk
By integrating technologies – such as a weigh bridge, axle weigher and weighing in-motion (WIM) axle weighbridges – into your company's Safety Management System, you can easily manage, monitor and control the risks associated with overloading.
These essential aids to mass management and equal load distribution provide drivers with the knowledge they need, security they deserve and will keep your company with National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) requirements and demands of good practice.
Due to the dangers it presents, it is a criminal offence to exceed a mass limit on a HGV
The following penalties applied as of June 2017:
Source. NHVR 201706-0564-fin-year-penalty-indexation