As those in the transport and logistics industry would know, changes to the chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law will commence on 1 October 2018.

That means transport operators have limited time left to be ready.

This week we are up to the tenth and final tip in our series of ten tips to help with your last-minute preparations.


Your new primary duty to 'ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of your transport activities' extends to the management of incidents and accidents. Even the best planning and safety system is not an iron-clad guarantee that your drivers and vehicles will not be involved in a major accident.

In the aftermath of a critical incident:

  • key personnel may not be available or contactable;
  • your driver or other members of the public may be injured or in physical danger;
  • the stress of the incident may make it difficult for you or your staff to make decisions quickly or appropriately;
  • you may need to deal with a variety of service providers, including emergency services, tow and salvage operators and investigators.

Having a critical incident response plan and checklist can assist your business achieve a rapid and effective emergency response and recovery. For example, your checklist for reporting a critical incident should allow information to be collected about:

  • the time, location and nature of the incident;
  • any injuries or risks of further injury;
  • the freight involved, including any placard, label and manifest details; and
  • the weather conditions and terrain.

Your plan should also deal with which regulatory bodies, internal and external stakeholders, insurers and tow and salvage operators need to be contacted and include contact details for those bodies.

© Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers

Cooper Grace Ward is a leading Australian law firm based in Brisbane.

This publication is for information only and is not legal advice. You should obtain advice that is specific to your circumstances and not rely on this publication as legal advice. If there are any issues you would like us to advise you on arising from this publication, please contact Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers.