The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has commenced public consultation on a draft Master Industry Code of Practice developed by Trucking and Supply Chains Limited, a jointly owned company of the Australian Logistics Council and Australian Trucking Association. Once approved and registered, the Code will set industry standards to assist parties in the chain of responsibility to discharge their obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
WILL I BE PROTECTED IF I COMPLY WITH THE CODE?
The new provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (commencing on 1 October 2018) set out how a person's compliance with a registered industry code of practice can be used by them in proceedings for an offence under the legislation.
The new section 632A is based on section 275 of the Model WHS Act and provides that:
- A registered industry code of practice is admissible as evidence of whether or not a duty or obligation under this Law has been complied with.
- The court may—
- have regard to the code as evidence of what is known about a hazard or risk, risk assessment, or risk control, to which the code relates; and
- rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates.
This makes it clear that, while a court may have regard to the Code (once it is registered), it is not obliged to consider the Code or to rely on the Code when determining what is reasonably practicable.
FEEDBACK ON THE DRAFT CODE
Feedback on the draft Code is open until 31 July 2018. The draft Code and feedback form is available here: https://www.nhvr.gov.au/safety-accreditation-compliance/industry-codes-of-practice/master-industry-code-of-practice
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