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Regulator strikes deal for load breaches: driver escapes $28k fine

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The NHVR has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) made by Victorian civil construction specialists Eifers Pty Ltd to the value of $44,000 in preference to obtaining a court ordered penalty against one of the company’s drivers.

An intercept by the regulator’s safety and compliance officers found that on October 22, 2019 a heavy vehicle operated by Eifers exceeded the prescribed mass limit and was in breach of section 96(1) of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

The vehicle’s load was also inadequately restrained, contrary to section 111(1) of the HVNL.

It is alleged the tri-axle of the heavy vehicle weighed 28,650kg – a severe breach over the allowed limit of 20,000kg. It was also alleged an unrestrained excavator digging bucket was observed during the intercept.

The driver could have faced a conviction and fines up to $28,330 for the breaches however on the acceptance of the EU the NHVR withdrew all charges against the driver.

NHVR director of prosecutions Belinda Hughes said this EU was an example of an operator taking an active role in setting the standard for the safety and wellbeing of their staff.

“Here we see an operator volunteer to improve its safety systems and demonstrate the importance of shared responsibility in ensuring safe operations on and off the road,” she said.

“The measures committed by Eifers in this enforceable undertaking include industry-specific training on safety and risk management for all staff, in order to achieve fast and measurable improvements for its business operations.”

Under the EU, the Victorian-based company must complete mass and load restraint training, production of a heavy vehicle safety video, a new policies and procedure manual, and certification of safety management systems including quality management, occupational health and safety, and environmental performance.

For more information on mass, dimension and loading and the risks and penalties, visit www.nhvr.gov.au/road-access/mass-dimension-and-loading.

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