New CoR Laws & Higher Penalties


New CoR Laws & Higher Penalties


New Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws aim to drive a proactive approach to safety rather than reactive. 

 The proposed updates to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HNVL) for CoR from October include:

Primary Duty for Parties in the CoR:

All parties in the CoR will be required to ensure safe practices over transport tasks they control or influence.


Legal Requirements Extended

Presently CoR Law covers fatigue, mass, dimension, loading and speed. The coming changes will also include vehicle standards and maintenance.


Executive Officers Liability Extended:

Executive officers (EOs) will be required to ensure that the organisation complies with its primary duty to ensure safety and avoid breaches by the company.

  • EOs will also be required to understand their duties, changes to regulatory requirements, safety systems to ensure they mitigate risk.


Increased Powers of Authorised Officers

  • Authorised officers will be able to investigate a business to determine if the safety systems in place are effective, even if a breach has not occurred.
  • Authorised officers will be able to obtain information from third parties.


So far as Reasonably Practicable vs Reasonable Steps

Like WHS laws, the new CoR law will require all parties

to take steps, so far as reasonably practicable, to prevent a safety breach. Parties in the CoR will need to show that they have considered; the likelihood of hazard occurring, the degree of harm, knowledge about the risk and exhausted all options to minimize or eliminate risk.


Offences & Penalties


Category 1 Offence:


Reckless breach of safety duty resulting to a risk of injury or death.


Individual - 5 Years Imprisonment and or $300,000

Company - $3,000,000


Category 2 Offence:


Breach of safety duty resulting to a risk of injury or death.


Individual - $100,000

Company - $1,000,000


Category 3 Offence:


Breach of safety duty (it does not have to be an incident or an event) It is the discovery of the failure of the system to capture the breach.


Individual - $50,000

Company - $500,000



CoR Part of Business Practice Vs Preventing Breaches

Businesses must actively seek out risks, control them and ensure they are effective. Businesses can do this by implementing a CoR system that includes:


  • CoR policy;
  • CoR risk management;
  • CoR Assurance and Training
  • Promotion

What is Chain of Responsibility (CoR)?

The aim of CoR is to hold all parties in the logistics chain responsible for safety and avoiding breaches to the heavy vehicle laws. For example, parties including; a consignee; consignors; employers; executive officers; loaders / unloaders; loading managers and drivers could all be held liable for breaching the fatigue or speed management requirements. Liability could arise if the party has no system in place to minimise driver fatigue or speeding.


For a quote to conduct; an independent CoR review, executive briefing or team CoR training session call us on 03 8544 4300 or email

Have a question? Call us:

+61 (03) 8544 4300

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