Updates to national safety management system


Revised National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) Business Rules and Standards are set to roll out from February 2021, designed to better align with modern safety systems, according to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

The reforms for more than 7600 NHVAS customers had been finalised following a review of the scheme and widespread industry consultation, revealed NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto.

“Through the NHVAS review and our engagement with industry, we identified several areas where we were able to improve the structure of the system to make it more logical and easier to understand, and to remove gaps within the framework,” he said.

“In particular, key changes have been made to more closely align NHVAS with safety management systems to better assist customers to meet their requirements under the Chain of Responsibility laws.”

NHVAS operators will continue to receive benefits from productivity improvements linked to increased mass, maintenance and more flexible fatigue modules.

“It is pleasing to see that operators enrolled in NHVAS are regularly shown to be safer and have fewer compliance breaches than non-participating operators. This was also highlighted in the most recent industry safety survey undertaken earlier this year,” said Petroccitto.

The NHVAS changes will be effective for new participants from 22 February 2021. The NHVR will also work with existing participants to transition to the revised Rules and Standards over one accreditation cycle, which can be up to two years.

Some of the other key reforms being introduced include:

  • Requirements for crash and incident reporting of major and significant events;
  • A register of infringements and defects notices received;
  • Fit and proper person requirements as part of the assessment criteria; and
  • Maintenance strengthened to include daily inspection of tow couplings and drawbars.

The NHVAS was first offered to industry in 1999 as an alternative compliance scheme. It has since evolved as a formal process for recognising operators that have robust safety and other management systems in place. The NHVR has been the single administrator of the scheme since February 2014.

More details on the revised Rules and Standards, as well as the Notice of Final Rule Making, are available here.

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