Australia, Transport News

NHVR prosecutes excavation contractor for repeat offences

An excavation contractor and its subsidiary has been hit with major HVNL penalties by the NHVR

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has prosecuted an excavation contractor and its subsidiary company for a primary duty offence and two severe risk breaches following ongoing contraventions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

An investigation led by the NHVR discovered that the Sydney-based excavation contractor had incurred 20 mass breaches and received 94 defect notices over a 15-month period.

The NHVR laid charges against the company for breaching its duty to ensure the safety of its transport activities, which included a failure to have procedures and policies in place for vehicle maintenance and mass management.

The court fined the company $112,000 and made a Supervisory Intervention Order (SIO) with an expected cost of over $260,000. The order requires the company to do several safety initiatives including conducting training in compliance and implementing mass measurement devices on their fleet.

An SIO is a court order that requires a company to implement better practices or implement safety systems or procedures to ensure future compliance with the HVNL.

The subsidiary company received two separate fines for severe mass and dimension breaches, totalling $30,000.

NHVR Acting Executive Director Belinda Hughes says this outcome shows that repeat offenders will be held accountable.

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“This reflects the NHVRs risk-based approach to our investigations. If your company has a pattern of non-compliance with the HVNL, it can result in significant penalties such as this,” Hughes says.

“This sentence is designed to deter the company from repeating offences while also benefiting the safety of industry and the broader community. It sends a strong message that the courts will take breaching your primary duty seriously to ensure the safety of transport activities.

“Although the fine is significant, we are more interested in improving the companies’ safety by requiring them to implement appropriate safety systems and processes.”

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