It’s your responsibility: 5 ways to stay CoR compliant
WHEN strict amendments to existing Chain of Responsibility (CoR) requirements came into effect in October, the toughest penalties in history were also introduced.
Individuals who breach the new National Standard will now face up to five years jail time and/or a $300,000 fine, with companies risking fines of up to $3million. And directors, managers and company partners are now considered individually responsible for any breaches - even if the vehicle hasn't hit the road yet.
Clearly, it's never been more important for companies to ensure their vehicles and processes are breach proof. Follow these five steps to ensure you stay compliant.
1. Conduct regular vehicle inspections and audits
'Good enough' is no longer going to cut it under these new laws - turning a blind eye to risky behaviour or processes is grounds for prosecution. Make sure your drivers are conducting their required daily heavy vehicle checks by regularly auditing their inspections - and being fair and honest in your assessment.
- Would someone think you (or the driver) have acted recklessly?
- Have you done everything reasonably practical to make sure your vehicles are compliant?
- Have you ignored an issue that others wouldn't? Could that issue lead to serious injury, illness or death?
Don't forget: senior management must formally follow-up with drivers immediately if checks aren't adequately completed. That means an email warning so you have proof, not just a quick phone call. Don't take unnecessary risk and conduct a regularly weekly audit of all inspections, as well as a monthly audit of all heavy vehicle checks.
2. Be informed about your Chain of Responsibility
Staying on top of mass, dimension, loading, speed and fatigue can already be a challenge, but under the new CoR requirements, vehicle standards, roadworthiness and maintenance are extra steps that must be remembered. Make sure to double-check the NHV Inspection Manual, and don't hesitate to speak to the NHVR Vehicle Standards team if you have any questions.
3. Train and assess your drivers regularly
Management is legally responsible for ensuring every driver in their fleet - whether that's four or 400 - isn't affected by fatigue or intoxication on the road. Recognise good behaviour and flag bad driving practices by conducting regular driver training assessments, avoiding tight delivery deadlines and enforcing regular breaks so drivers can rest and recharge.
And if you're finding it difficult to monitor hundreds of drivers in real-time, you can try implementing new systems and processes for drivers to capture information as they go. A simple program like iAuditor can make it easy to monitor all aspects from pre-start checks and engine management, through to driving technique and shut-down procedures. It's also equipped with a Drug and Alcohol Consent Form, to record your driver's signature and track their test results.
4. Maintain accurate accident register logs
Make sure you meet the strict due diligence obligations by keeping up-to-date and accurate accident records. The easiest way to detail the root cause of any accident is to track the exact location of events in real-time and follow-up directly with drivers - by implementing a system to ensure drivers have the ability to capture photo evidence on the spot and officially log it with management.
Remember: the best way to avoid accidents is by having a set process in place to deal with defects as they occur and also to ensure tired or intoxicated drivers are never on the road.
5. Consistently ensure you're ticking every box
New CoR laws require heavy vehicle owners to maintain full visibility on the condition of their fleet at all times - and missing just one step could result in severe punishment. One simple way to ensure you're ticking every box is to use iAuditor's mobile-ready, easy-to-use checklists, which are designed to comply with new CoR requirements.
With iAuditor, heavy vehicle owners can:
- Create customised inspection templates to help identify, assess, evaluate and control risk.
- Schedule and assign inspections across multiple locations.
- Report in real-time and generate and share PDF's.
- Document and assign actions.
Need a reminder?
Download a free 'Are you Breach Proof?' poster for your office
Make sure you and your team avoid these severe penalties by hanging our 'Are you Breach Proof?' poster where your team can see it.