Chain of Responsibility Awareness Vital, Transport Operators Warned
Ensuring that your employees within the supply chain are aware of their duties under chain of responsibility legislation by providing them with the appropriate training is vital, not only to road safety and compliance to avoid prosecution but also for the protection of your company and your employees.
Experts in the industry all recognise the importance of COR training in order to familiarise employees of their rights and their responsibilities under the COR legislation. Ultimately COR training is important to protect everyone involved in the supply chain not just any one single party.
Now David Galbally QC has issued a warning to transport operators to ensure that they are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the legislation in order to protect themselves.
Galbally was recently issued the warning to delegates at the 2014 Transport and Maintenance Conference in Melbourne, stating:
“We now live in a society where privacy is a massive debate, but the ability to tape record conversations you are involved in, the ability to video what is going on in terms of your behaviour and the behaviour of those around you, to protect yourself is far greater now. And you should use it,”
Galbally went on to remind operators of the importance of protecting themselves instead of relying on the proof provided by authorities. He said that the use of in-vehicle cameras to record interactions with authorities should be used to ensure that operators kept their own accurate records of what is being said, even if authorities may be recording the conversation as well.
Mr Galbally went on to explain:
“If a search warrant is produced to search trucks or premises to produce documents there is no reason why you cannot video the search that is taking place to protect yourself,” he said. “Just because you may be a party to an investigation doesn’t mean that you’re not entitled to protect your rights.”
Mr Galbally also suggested to operators that they keep a copy of every document that investigators take, advising that certain documents such as privileged information held in a cabinet or folder should be claimed as such because if privilege isn’t claimed at the time, it is waived, something that not all operators and drivers are aware of. Galbally went on to explain:
“But if you do claim it (privilege) and you’re wrong, it doesn’t matter. It is better to make the claim at the beginning,” Galbally said.
“If they’re (investigators) going to behave in a proper manner without trying to be bullying and without stand over tactics they won’t mind the investigation being recorded at all because it’s for their sake and their protection anyway because it will save the accusations that it was unfair.”
There are various options available for those employers and employees looking to complete COR training, depending on your needs. The bottom line is that anyone involved in the supply chain, whether working in a distribution warehouse or driving heavy vehicles should complete Chain of Responsibility training to understand both their responsibilities and their rights under the legislation.