Careers & Training

If you perform any of these 10 functions, you’re in the CoR

You are a Chain of Responsibility (CoR) party because of a function you perform, not because of a title or job description, or the words of a contract, reminds the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

If you engage in any of the below activities, you or your business are accountable for heavy vehicle safety according to your primary duty.

You are also a party in the CoR when you perform any of the following 10 functions:

  • employ a heavy vehicle driver (employer)
  • engage someone to drive a heavy vehicle under a contract for services (prime contractor)
  • direct the control and use of a heavy vehicle (operator)
  • schedule the transport of goods and passengers in a heavy vehicle, or schedule a driver’s work and rest hours (scheduler)
  • consign goods for transport by a heavy vehicle (consignor)
  • receive goods delivered by a heavy vehicle (consignee)
  • pack or assemble goods for transport in a heavy vehicle (packer)
  • manage premises where five or more heavy vehicles are loaded or unloaded each day (loading manager)
  • load a heavy vehicle (loader)
  • unload a heavy vehicle (unloader)

More than half the CoR functions relate to people and businesses that do not own or operate a heavy vehicle.

A good rule of thumb is that when your business sends or receives goods via a heavy vehicle, it’s a party in the CoR, said the NHVR.

What about driving a heavy vehicle?
Driving is not one of the CoR functions. An employed driver is not a party in the CoR because they drive. Drivers have other duties and HVNL obligations.

Note: When a driver is performing another CoR function – such as loading a heavy vehicle – then the driver (and their employer) are ‘loaders’ and are parties in the CoR.

What if I’m an owner/driver?
If you own and drive a heavy vehicle you are an ‘operator’ of the vehicle and a party in the CoR.

What if I have more than one role in the CoR?
Many businesses perform multiple CoR functions. This doesn’t mean they have multiple duties or different kinds of duty. They still have one duty – the primary duty. But performing more functions means more risks. Each business will have to do more to eliminate or minimise those risks.

While it is important to know the CoR functions, so you know whether the CoR laws apply to you at all, you don’t have to know precisely which functions you are performing at any given moment. No matter which CoR function you are performing, your legal duty is always the same. This is the duty to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the safety of your transport activities. This is the primary duty.

What if there is more than one party in the CoR?
In supply chain arrangements, there can be multiple persons or businesses involved in the same transport task. When that happens, you need to be aware of your shared responsibilities and how the primary duty applies.

Who is responsible – employer or employee?
Both employers and employees have duties, but because employers generally have more control over work practices, training and resources, they are expected to take the lead in managing safety.

For this reason, investigation of a breach of the primary duty generally starts with the business and its management. Individual employees who fail to follow procedures, or who exceed their authority, may also be investigated. Decisions about who should be charged – business, individual employee, or both – are made at the discretion of prosecutors and depend on factual circumstances, the law, rules of evidence, and the NHVR’s Prosecutions Policy.

Source: NHVR 

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