On 23 November 2018, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator registered the Master Industry Code of Practice. The Code was developed by Trucking and Supply Chains Limited, a jointly owned company of the Australian Logistics Council and Australian Trucking Association. The newly approved Code will assist parties in the chain of responsibility to discharge their obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

What is in the Code?

The Code is a practical guide for industry to assist in achieving heavy vehicle safety and compliance. It addresses the four central responsibilities of parties in the chain of responsibility, namely:

  • speed compliance
  • fatigue management
  • mass, dimension and loading
  • vehicle standards.

How do I access the Code?

The Industry Master Code is freely available to all heavy vehicle operators and supply chain parties. You can download it from the website of the NHVR.

Will I be protected if I comply with the Code?

The new chain of responsibility regime under the Heavy Vehicle National Law that commenced on 1 October 2018 sets out how a person’s compliance with a registered industry code of practice can be used in proceedings relating to an offence.

The new section 632A is based on section 275 of the Model WHS Act and provides that:

(2) A registered industry code of practice is admissible as evidence of whether or not a duty or obligation under this Law has been complied with. (3) The court may—

(a) have regard to the code as evidence of what is known about a hazard or risk, risk assessment, or risk control, to which the code relates; and

(b) rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates. This section makes it clear that, while a court may have regard to a registered code, it is not obliged to consider the Code or to rely on the Code when determining what is reasonably practicable.