Chain Of Responsibility Management Seminar

Thursday, 9 December 2010
Chain Of Responsibility Fleet WorkshopMany Queensland businesses owners have no idea they’re personally liable for massive fines and potential jail terms if one of their employees or contractors breaches road safety practices.

The National Compliance and Enforcement legislation adopted by Queensland means all parties in a ‘transport chain’ have responsibility to ensure road safety through Chain Of Responsibility (COR) laws.

“This is well known and accepted in the heavy transport industry, but medium size and smaller businesses that run fleets have no idea how this new legislation impacts on them,” says Graham Bladon, managing director of Chain of Responsibility Management Systems Australia.

“This legislation presumes you’re guilty and as an employer, manager or director you are deemed personally liable for the actions of your drivers and any decisions you’ve made that might cause or encourage a breach.

“Then it would be up to you to prove that you took all reason steps to stop the breach of WH&S harmonisation, WorkSafe Australia and road safety practices.  The only other legislation in Australia that puts the onus on proving your innocence is anti-terrorism legislation.

“If you cannot show evidence by way of the reasonable steps you’ve taken in defence, then you may be deemed responsible as an influencing party to the breach.”

Chain of Responsibility Management Systems Australia in association with is conducting a half day workshop for business owners, directors and managers of companies who run light commercial fleets.

The workshop is to be held at 8am on December 14 at the Port of Brisbane Visitor’s Centre. Click here for details.

Queensland Transport legislation states Transport Inspectors and Police Officers can investigate along the transport chain and up and down the corporate chain of command with extraordinary power of search and inspection.

“Investigations will no longer target the drivers, as in the past, now the process includes everyone in the chain from MD s to partners, indeed anyone associated with the road transport of goods, said Mr Bladon.

“Imagine an esky lid blows off the back of a tradesman’s ute and caused a fatal accident. The investigators will ask the driver if he has been trained in load restraint, WH&S procedures and if so, documented proof will be required.

“If the driver says no, the investigators will go to his supervisor and ask what training is in place. If the supervisor says ‘none, my boss doesn’t require any’, the investigators will go straight up the chain to the CEO, because under Chain Of Responsibility he is the one they will say had not taken reasonable steps to prevent a breach.”

Those included under the Chain of Responsibility legislation are:

  • employers or managers of a business may also be personally liable for breaches by an employee, including maintenance personnel, fleet management, freight forwarders and stevedores consignors — those who commission the carriage of a load by road
  • packers — those who place goods in packages, containers or on pallets transported by road
  • loaders — those who place or restrain the load on a heavy vehicle
  • drivers — those who physically drive a heavy vehicle
  • operators and schedulers — those who operate the business that controls the use of a heavy vehicle
  • receivers — those who pay for the goods or take possession of the load.

Russell White, managing director of said the only way to ensure that businesses and employees were covered was by having documented and accredited safety training and procedures to ensure that all employees understand their responsibilities as road users.

“Qualified and relevant training is a key component of complying with the legislation,” he said.

 “Under this legislation, you have to prove that you took every reasonable action to prevent a breach and that involves ensuring that all staff undertake and pass the appropriate training courses that prove competency,” he said.

“Then if an incident does happen, you can point to the certified training undertaken by that employee complete with their signature to prove that you’ve taken every reasonable step to prevent your actions or conduct from causing or contributing to a breach.

 “And, just as importantly, being able to prove you took those actions.”

Chain of Responsibility Workshop
8am to noon
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Port of Brisbane Visitor’s Centre
1 Whimbrel Street
Port of Brisbane
 Workshop tickets: $150 per person (includes morning tea and lunch)
RSVP Graham Bladon 0434 408 127

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