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Home Blogs How Chain of Responsibility Laws Affect You: The Complete Rundown
man in hivis securing a component in a warehouse

How Chain of Responsibility Laws Affect You: The Complete Rundown

So, what is the Chain of Responsibility and how does it affect you?

Chain of Responsibility laws are in place to ensure all parties in the transport supply chain enhance road safety. Anyone involved in the transport supply chain is bound by this duty, which includes not only drivers but also anyone who has control or influence over transport tasks such as consignors, consignees, loaders and operators.

So, what implications does this bring?

When there is an incident, especially a major incident involving fatalities, the crack squad moves in – the Heavy Vehicle National Law arrives to review everything that happened. They look at the situation from every angle and drill right down into who was involved in decision-making and how the incident could have been avoided. Anyone who played a part in the Chain of Responsibility could be held liable – and that means fines, which have gone up significantly.

In the old days, an organisation might have been fined tens of thousands of dollars. In October 2018 corporate fines went up to $3M and a Senior Director could be hit with $300,000 in personal fines. Jump to today and the figures have risen again to $4M in corporate fines and $400,000 for Directors (which they must personally pay).

So, what can you do to avoid all this?


You must do everything practicable to make sure that the loads you are transporting are safe.

To keep our roads and the public free from harm, the laws obviously include factors like load safety, but it’s also about much more than that. It’s about fatigue, it’s about load management, it’s about time management. So, you might say that responsibility for every part of the transport spectrum is covered by this law.

The bottom line is that even if you are the Managing Director of the company and have nothing to do with the goods being dispatched, you could still be held liable for a fatal accident. So, everyone along the Chain of Responsibility has to do everything in their power to ensure that components get from A to B safely.

This is a very high-level overview of the Chain of Responsibility and how it affects you. To find out more, watch our thought leadership forums found on our YouTube channel.