Are your sub-contractors a solid link in your Chain of Responsibility?
Do you have full visibility of their fleet’s performance? If not, it could potentially be a major risk to your business.
Recent changes to Australia’s Chain of Responsibility (CoR)* legislation mean anyone with a role in your transport supply chain – including your contractors and partners - now share responsibility for your fleet’s safety.
It’s about getting everyone across your supply chain working more closely together to, ultimately, improve road safety.
"That sometimes means having serious conversations with your partners to ensure they comply with the new safety requirements,” says Chris Evans, EROAD’s Health and Safety Compliance Manager.
“But it’s about influencing and working alongside your partners rather than just expecting or demanding they comply. Creating an effective partnership is key. You can’t just give a sub-contractor a two-page list of things to comply with and assume it will be followed. You need to work alongside them.
Under CoR, everyone in your chain has a formal duty of care that can’t be contracted out.
“For example, if one of EROAD’s installers had an accident, EROAD could potentially be liable. Especially if we didn’t have visibility or, at the very least, minimum standards. Prior to the CoR changes taking effect, our team worked closely with each of our installers to determine what CoR meant and our expectations of them to comply. It was a very effective process which has meant we are all collectively doing the right things to ensure the continued safety of our entire operation.”
Evans says once an agreement is made, it’s also important that it’s then regularly monitored.
“Our regional managers regularly audit our installers and, if there are areas that need improvement, we give help and advice on how to do that.”
Technology, such as EROAD’s IVMS, is also a key tool that can be used to gain day-to-day visibility over your contractors or sub-contractors activities to ensure they are doing the right thing,” he says.
“EROAD’s Share has been specially designed to provide visibility of your contractors and make it easy to share vehicle and fleet information securely with businesses in your supply chain.
It provides a view of your contractor’s vehicle locations and also how they are being driven. Not only does it simplify and strengthen your CoR compliance, it also helps improve your business’s productivity as you can clearly see how every vehicle used in your business’ activities is performing.”
With Share you control which vehicles are shared, for what period, and the driver behaviour reports they appear in. This allows your business, and those you work with, to coordinate resources and simplify your dispatch and job management processes.
“It also means you can ensure your contractors meet the same high standards you expect from your own drivers and better meet your CoR obligations,” says Chris.
“Sharing of data and improved visibility of your operations helps you deliver a quality service to your customers. “
Even with the CoR law in place, Chris admits that ‘the Amazon effect’ now makes things more challenging for businesses.
“Customers are routinely promised that if they order something, they can receive it at their house within a few hours. Companies naturally want to support the needs of their customers, but again, contracts that mean drivers have to break the law to fulfil them are illegal.”
“What a customer wants and what they can actually get may be two different things. If a client demands goods in six hours, but it’s impossible to achieve that within the law, then they need to be advised of what’s legally possible.”
They are not a logistics expert. They won’t know about driver hours regulations, or how long it takes to get from Newcastle to Adelaide. So there’s a duty of care to make sure customers are educated about what is practicable and reasonable.”
Chris says while CoR adds a new dimension to managing your business, open dialogue with contractors and the use of quality technology, such as EROAD’s fleet management software, is key.
"Not only does it ensure you operate safely, efficiently and productively - it also means everyone gets home safely at night. The key aim is to get everyone home safely - which is good for everyone in your chain!"
*Currently only applies to selected States in Australia
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