NHVR prosecutes consignor over chain of responsibility breaches

Building supplies firm charged with exposure to death or serious injury


A Victorian building supplies company becomes the first consignor prosecuted by the National Heavy Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) under the 2018 Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) chain of responsibility (COR) amendments.

It is charged with serious safety offences after a truck toppled onto a pedestrian island crossing (pictured above).

The heavy vehicle was loaded with a shipping container carrying 26 tonnes of imported timber plywood products when it rolled over in Dandenong on November 11, 2019.

The load’s consignor has been charged with exposing drivers, unloaders and members of the public to the risk of death or serious injury by failing to comply with sections 26G and 26H of the HVNL

The NHVR will allege the consignor failed to comply with loading and restraint requirements, failed to advise an overseas supplier of Australian safety regulations, failed to have any restraint system in place in the container, and failed to advise the driver and operator how the load was packed.

It will be further alleged that the consignor had failed to take these measures since June 2017, during which time 189 containers were transported without any restraint.

A South Australian firm is facing primary duty offences

The case is the first prosecution of a consignor by the NHVR following the 2018 amendment of the HVNL which made all parties in the supply chain part of the COR, with a shared duty to ensure the safety of transport activities.

The matter is listed for a hearing at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on March 22, 2021.

Court records show the accused is Big River Group Pty Ltd.

NHVR executive director statutory compliance Ray Hassall says the law is clear that everyone involved in heavy vehicle transport had a shared responsibility to ensure the safety of workers and the public.

"This was a serious incident that the NHVR will allege was caused by multiple breaches of safety laws," Hassall says.

No one was injured in the November 2019 rollover.


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