Where are you in the chain of responsibility?

Where are you in the chain of responsibility?

Is the corporate chain of responsibility a concern to you?

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase ‘chain of responsibility’?
A quick google search brings up a number of results in relation to commercial vehicles, and how they are loaded.


The fact is, chain of responsibility legislation applies to any PCBU. Whether you have a vehicle fleet, or a mechanics workshop, this legislation still applies. At a recent AFMA fleet forum, James Cairney from MeredithConnell law firm made a striking presentation that struck home for me. It displays the way the chain of responsibility affects all of us, whether we are a Director or a blue collar worker.

As a blue collar worker, I have a responsibility for taking reasonable care for myself and my workmates. This means I need to manage the weight of my vehicle, or report it to my superior if I have an ongoing issue with getting the right tools to the job. However, I am responsible for ensuring that my vehicle is compliant before driving it on the road.

I have sub-contractors, how does the Corporate Chain of Responsibility apply to me?

As a more senior manager, if I use sub-contractors, I still have a responsibility of reasonable care! It can be so easy to think we can sub-contract work out and avoid the issues around health and safety or compliance. But the facts are, I am responsible, by law, to ensure my subcontractors are operating safely.

I am a fleet manager, how does the Corporate Chain of Responsibility apply to me?

Apply this to a vehicle fleet situation for just a moment. I’m a fleet manager in a company with a number of owned vehicles, and a number of owner operators who sub-contract and supply their own vehicles. Have I got the right policy in place? Are the sub-contractors required to have newer ANCAP rated vehicles, or are they left to find one of the large numbers of grey imports we have in this country? Are my sub-contractors bound to work or drive only a certain number of hours per day? Are they required to have hands-free phone kits fitted? Do I need a standardised fleet image policy?

This brings me to the next question, how can I possibly ensure I cover all of these topics?

AFMA is a fleet industry body that exists to link knowledge and people, creating outcomes. Becoming a member gives you access to industry knowledge and advice to assist you on the journey. Sign up here: https://ams.afma.org.au/membership/become-a-member/

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