The Chain of Responsibility is essentially a framework in which Regulators and Law Courts have the capacity to bring charges against anyone within the road transport process of a business that is not adequately ensuring the safe operation of the transport activities.
CoR is now following the Work, Health & Safety principle of what is ‘reasonably practicable’.
‘What could you have ‘reasonably’ done to have prevented an accident or safety breach?’
Farmers can’t control everything and you’re not expected to. If you engage a contract carrier, they are engaged by you for their specific expertise. They too have the same requirements under the Chain of Responsibility.
If you are a farmer, you are within the ‘Chain of Responsibility’, regardless of whether you have your own truck or not.
What farmers need to do is ‘formally’ articulate our business rules and communicate our expectations of safe operation to workers and/or contractors.
Technically, an NHVR inspector can check any element of your truck’s operation and your compliance with the Chain of Responsibility and Heavy Vehicle National Law. But I think the main questions a roadside inspector would be asking themselves, during grain harvest for example, are:
- Is the driver fatigued?
- Is the vehicle roadworthy?
- Has the driver been speeding or been put under pressure to speed?
- Has the truck been overloaded on a regular basis?
If you don’t have any record keeping in place for your farm truck, you need to get organised. Farmers that are already within Maintenance and/or Mass Accreditation will have most aspects already in place to meet CoR.
As a basic overview of what I think is required:
- WHS Plan & Policy for whole of farm (incl CoR explanation) Download free farm safety policy here
- Farm Site Induction for whole of farm (incl CoR element)
- Heavy Vehicle Policy & record keeping elements specific to your farm truck (following the principles of CoR)
- Driver Hours Record (internal record or official ‘work diary’ – if required)
- Maintenance Records – be able to show your Heavy Vehicle is looked after
- + a bit more……… but at least get started with these items
If you don’t have your own farm truck and engage a contract carrier to cart your produce, you should organise yourself a ‘carrier agreement’ and have some level of ‘contractor induction’.
Managing the requirements of CoR does not need to be hard so don’t over complicate it.
If you want to DIY, the NHVR do have some templates available but personally, I think they are more ‘complicated’ than they need to be. https://www.broadacrefarmsafety.com.au/trucks/
Our farm truck has been in Accreditation for 9 years, we just passed another audit, all with my own personally established policy/procedures and record keeping system. If you want my help, get in touch.
I do offer further assistance to my website members and clients