Chain of Responsibility Compliance – One Simple But Important Thing You Can Do

We’ve all heard the saying ‘what gets measured – gets done’, but how do you measure and monitor that your CoR compliance system is working?

There is a common misconception that if you’ve had no accidents, injuries or damages (to goods, vehicles, equipment etc) that your safety and compliance system is working. But is this a result of good luck or good management? Could “the big one” be just around the corner? Assuming that because nothing bad has happened, nothing bad will happen is just a false sense of security.

CoR Management is vital

A management reporting process where you are tracking compliance activities and system failures should be part of your governance structure. Benefits in monitoring and measuring your CoR compliance activities through management reporting include:

  • Accountability – Knowing your staff are doing what you have asked them to do
  • Being made aware of any changes or ‘red flags’ that indicate a potential issue rather than finding out when there’s customer complaints and/or costs
  • Being able to demonstrate your ‘due diligence’ legal obligations

Management reporting isn’t just a good business practice, there is also a legal obligation under Section 26 D of the Heavy Vehicle National Law for business owners and other company officers to oversee what’s going on in the business around safety and risk management.

Prevention is better than cure

It’s too late to start focusing on CoR compliance once something has gone wrong. Capture the things you are doing to prevent adverse events from occurring in the first place such as:

  • Drivers licence demerit point checks – this ensures your drivers have a valid licence and will pick up on ‘at risk’ driving behaviour through demerit point offences.
  • Drug and alcohol testing – to ensure your drivers are not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Staff induction – All new staff are inducted and this is documented so you know new staff get the information they need to work safely.
  • Vehicle maintenance – all vehicles are serviced on time in accordance with your schedule – this reduces the likelihood of a break down or accident from a mechanical fault.

How CoR Comply can help

It’s all well and good to say that you need to measure things, but it’s not always obvious what you could and should be measuring. This is why the CoR Comply Management Report template in the Governance Package has 22 indicators of CoR and safety system performance. They won’t all apply to every business, but with that many, there will definitely be some that you can use. 

The CoR Comply Governance Package also includes:

  • a CoR Policy which is often asked for in Supplier Verification Questionnaires and audits
  • a CoR Breach Reporting Form and Procedure. The Breach Reporting process is for documenting CoR breaches and communicating these with other supply chain parties. The process includes reporting, investigating, controlling and communicating CoR breaches to prevent a recurrence. This is an important aspect of due diligence – timely response to incidents. If you don’t have a formal system for reporting incidents/breaches, you may not even know something has happened or be able to demonstrate you’ve responded.

What’s the one simple, but important thing?

To be across the effectiveness of your CoR compliance system and comply with your due diligence obligations, incorporate a CoR Management Report into your business reporting structure. The CoR Comply Governance Package includes this and other features which will protect your business.

Want to know more about CoR Compliance? Use our Risk Diagnostic to get instant results of your CoR compliance status! Click below.

Fitness For Work Drugs & Alcohol

cor compliance drug and alcohol

If one of your drivers was found to be impaired by drugs and/or alcohol and you were asked to show evidence of how you manage driver fitness for work – would your systems stand up?

Operating a heavy vehicle requires a range of mental and physical attributes and drivers must be alert and responsive to changing conditions at any time. As a driver, being ‘fit-for-work’ encompasses a range of factors that can cause impairment such as drugs and/or alcohol, quality sleep, mental and physical health, alertness and concentration, medical conditions and lifestyle issues.

  • Transport Operators have a responsibility to have systems in place to manage driver fitness for work.

  • Drivers have a responsibility to be fit for work, including maintaining 0.00% blood alcohol content and be free from impairment by drugs, in accordance with State Road Laws.

Manage Driver Fitness-for-Work and Alcohol & Other Drugs with the CoR Comply Heavy Vehicle Driver Package.​

What you’ll get to set up your Fitness-For-Work and Alcohol & Other Drugs compliance system :

  • Driver CoR & Safety Handbook with information for drivers about fitness for work responsibilities and expectations and alcohol and other drugs testing.
  • Fitness-for-Work Procedure which gives you a daily fitness-for-work declaration, how to identify fitness-for-work issues and what to do when you do.
  • Alcohol & Other Drugs Procedure which sets the framework for random, causal and critical incident testing with a zero tolerance approach.
  • Induction Checklist & Assessment which clearly states your position on Fitness for Work and Alcohol and Other Drugs in the workplace. 

Want to know more about CoR Compliance? Use our Risk Diagnostic to get instant results of your CoR compliance status! Click below.

Denise Zumpe featured in ATN Daily News

atn-supplier audits

Proudly published in today’s ATN Daily News – my article on supplier audits in the transport industry. It’s great to be recognised as an expert in the field and to have the opportunity to share some of my hard earned knowledge with a wide audience! There is a lot of activity at the moment in the transport industry around Chain of Responsibility (COR) supplier audits. My article seeks to explain the key question: What are supplier audits all about?

Read the full article here.

Driver Licencing & Competency

cor-comply driver licencing and competency

Could one of your drivers be driving on a suspended or disqualified licence? You would think the answer is definitely “No”. But when is the last time you actually checked?

Most drivers are law abiding and wouldn’t dream of driving while disqualified. However, we’ve all heard stories of drivers who have lost their licence but decide to take the risk and keep driving to avoid losing their income. You need to be certain that none of your drivers are suspended or disqualified because the potential cost to your business is huge.

How do you check?

To be reliable, drivers licence checks need to be done through your Road Authority (VicRoads, Roads & Maritime Services, Dept of Transport and Main Roads etc).  Sighting the physical copy of the licence isn’t enough.

Road Authority Demerit Point checks by State:

All of these Authorities have a method of instantly checking demerit point status either online or with automated phone services – which is explained on their respective websites. Understandably there are strict privacy provisions around the use of these services. The licence holder must give explicit permission for any other party to access personal information about demerit points. For example, in Victoria, VicRoads have a form on their website ‘Consent to Release Information from VicRoads Records’ which gives authority to another party to be given demerit point information.

Do you have procedures in place?

What if a driver is low on points and one more penalty could mean loss of the drivers’ licence? Do you have procedures in place to address this scenario?

The CoR Comply Driver Licencing and Competency Policy & Procedure provides a process for Operators to collect licences, maintain up to date information about licence status, what to do when demerit points are low (‘at risk drivers’) and driver competency and how to implement this in your business.

Do you have unlicenced or incompetent drivers? The potential cost to your business of not properly managing these two important aspects of heavy vehicle operation is huge.

How can CoR Comply help?

The CoR Comply Driver Licencing and Competency Policy & Procedure is part of the Heavy Vehicle Driver Package. This also includes a Driver Handbook and Competency Assessment, Fitness for Work, Drug and Alcohol Policies & Procedures, Induction Checklist and Training Matrix. Everything you need to onboard drivers and set your expectations around safety and compliance.

Driver Induction – Content & Currency

corcomply content and currency

‘Content & Currency’ are the two words the Victoria Police Heavy Vehicle Unit used when asking about driver induction during a multiple fatality accident investigation.

“What’s covered in your content and when did you last do a refresher?”

Content

A Driver Handbook is a tool to educate drivers on CoR responsibilities, fitness for work, drugs & alcohol, general OHS, vehicle inspections and safety. By using a Driver Handbook for induction, you can easily demonstrate your content.

Currency

Induction as a ‘one-off’ when a new driver starts isn’t enough. No-one will remember what was covered in the induction 5 years ago and information, laws, standards and technology changes. We recommend re-inducting drivers annually. It doesn’t need to take a long time or be onerous but provides up to date information and resets company expectations.

We’ve Got You Covered

CoR Comply includes a 13 page Driver CoR & Safety Handbook in easy to understand language – see sample pages. It comes with a multiple choice assessment so you have records of drivers understanding the key information such as reporting CoR breaches, reporting changes to driver licence status, fatigue management, pre-trip inspections. That’s just one part of the CoR Comply Heavy Vehicle Driver Package. It also includes procedures on Driver Licencing & Competency, Fitness for Work, a training matrix so you can track when re-induction is due and an induction checklist to tick everything off.

For more information, view our Heavy Vehicle Driver Package

Want to know more about CoR Compliance? Use our Risk Diagnostic to get instant results of your CoR compliance status.

What’s a Chain of Responsibility Policy & why you need one

chain of responsibility policy corcomply

Have you been asked for a Chain of Responsibility (CoR) Policy?  It is a common request when seeking to confirm that a transport business is compliant with Chain of Responsibility obligations, but what is a CoR Policy and why do you need one? Transport Operators need a Chain of Responsibility Policy because it demonstrates to supply chain partners, customers and regulators that you’re proactive and take the safety of your road transport activities seriously.

Just like a Work Health and Safety Policy, a CoR Policy will consist of an overarching statement of intent to comply with CoR laws and commitment to minimising risks arising from your transport operations, as far as reasonably practicable. The objective being to prevent harm to people and infrastructure.

Next comes what actions you will take to achieve this. The Heavy Vehicle National Law requires transport operators to identify and control risks with transport operations, including not influencing a driver to speed, carry an overweight or over-dimensional load, travel in an unroadworthy/unsafe vehicle or drive while fatigued. So these would typically be mentioned in your policy. Other actions may be to encourage reporting of CoR breaches and engage with supply chain partners to work collectively to manage transport risks and improve safety for all.

Everything you say in your Policy should be part of your everyday business operations. For each of your actions, you will need processes and records. For example, if you state in your Policy that drivers will be licenced, competent and fit for work – how will you demonstrate this? This could include:

  • Sourcing driver history reports issued by the Regulator to monitor licence and demerit point status.
  • Having a drug and alcohol policy and testing program
  • A daily fitness for work declaration for drivers
  • Training for drivers and operations in recognising and responding to fitness for work issues

To monitor compliance with your Chain of Responsibility Policy, you will be gathering and reviewing data which will help guide your decisions. If, through monitoring fatigue, you become aware of fatigue management breaches in relation to a particular route, client or driver, you can use this information to make changes.

If you don’t have a Chain of Responsibility Policy, think about all the actions you have in place to manage transport risks and compliance and document these and there’s your Policy. Alternatively, you can start with a Policy template and this can structure your compliance program. Either way, next time you are asked if you have a Chain of Responsibility Compliance Policy, you will be able to confidently answer, Yes, I do.

Take the time and effort out of CoR compliance documentation with CoR Comply and know you have exactly what you need with CoR Comply. Our CoR Policy is part of the Governance Package.

 

OHS Body of Knowledge

In February 2014, I was fortunate to be invited to participate in a focus group for the development of a new chapter in the OHS Body of Knowledge on Organisational Culture. For non-OHS people, the Body of Knowledge consists of 43 chapters covering OHS concepts, theories and evidence and is used as the basis for accreditation and education programs.

The focus group was conducted by Dr David Borys, safety educator, researcher and consultant who was my lecturer at Ballarat University when I completed a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Hazard Management. David has published some 25 research papers and is recognised globally as a leading OHS researcher and thought leader.

After the workshop, I was invited to be the contributing author to the Body of Knowledge chapter on Organisational Culture as it related to small/medium business. My colleague Rod Maule, who had also studied at Ballarat Uni was selected as the contributing author as a general reflection on the chapter and its application for the OHS professional in practice. If anyone reading this knows Rod, you will know it was quite an honour to be considered alongside him as a worthy contributor.

How is this story related to the CoR Master Code?

On page 12 of the Master Code, the Organisational Culture chapter of the Body of Knowledge is referenced in providing the definition of culture as ‘the way we do things around here’. I instinctively use this knowledge when I’m working a with business and consider how they ‘do things’ and this is the lever to get them to ‘do new things’ too. The new things now are generally systems and practices to comply with the CoR reforms.

It’s rewarding to have my safety systems and culture background officially unite with the new CoR world.

NHVAS Registered Auditor

As of today, I’m an NHVAS Registered Auditor. It’s not an easy qualification to gain. It involved: 2 days of technical competency training at the NHVR Exemplar Global Auditing qualifications, (which I was lucky to already have as a safety auditor). Online tests A skills audit – conducting an audit while being assessed by a Skills Auditor. Then a submission to the NHVR for approval. Glad I finally got there! It’s been great to learn so much and be able to provide the best, most qualified advice and support I can to clients navigating the complex and ever-changing CoR space.