Chain of Responsibility (CoR)

Chain of Responsibility (CoR)

The Chain of Responsibility (CoR) is an important concept in the context of national heavy vehicles, particularly in the transportation and logistics industry. CoR refers to the legal framework that holds multiple parties accountable for ensuring compliance with safety standards and regulations associated with heavy vehicle operations.

The Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws came into effect in the beginning of October-2018. Under the new CoR laws, all parties in the Chain will have a proactive and non-delegable duty to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the safety of their transport activities.

All Executives (Directors, Partners, Owners) will have a proactive and non-delegable duty to exercise due diligence to ensure that their business complies with its duty.

If you consign, pack, load or receive goods as part of your business, you could be held legally liable for breaches of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) even though you have no direct role in driving or operating a heavy vehicle. In addition, corporate entities, directors, partners and managers are accountable for the actions of people under their control. This is the Chain of Responsibility (COR).

The CoR concept recognizes that various entities, beyond just the driver, have a shared responsibility for the safe operation of heavy vehicles. These entities may include the vehicle owner, the operator, consignors, loaders, schedulers, and others involved in the supply chain. The objective is to ensure that everyone involved in the chain takes appropriate steps to prevent risks, reduce accidents, and promote road safety.

Time to plan for safety and compliance is NOW!
All businesses will be required to have in place a compliance management framework, including:

  1. working procedures
  2. awareness/training programs
  3. compliance clauses in all supply chain contracts
  4. compliance performance monitoring and response/remedy procedures
  5. Executive compliance reporting

Legal Consequences

Non-compliance with CoR obligations can result in legal consequences, including penalties and potential liabilities. This acts as a deterrent and encourages parties to take their responsibilities seriously, ensuring that safety measures are given due attention.

Maximum penalties will increase to $3 million for corporations and $300,000 plus up to 5 years in jail for individuals

An incident or accident does not need to occur in order for you to be investigated, prosecuted and fined.

With the new higher standard of obligation and massively increased potential penalties, compliance is more important than ever.  In particular for supply chain parties up and down the chain, it is more important than ever to ensure that transport contractors and subcontractors have a suitable compliance framework in place in order to ensure that they are not a compliance risk and the weak point in the Chain

Who is included in the Chain?

If you are involved in any of the following road transport activities, you are a party the “Chain of Responsibility (CoR)
  • Consigning – A person or company commissioning the carrying of goods
  • Packing – Placing goods in packages, containers, or pallets
  • Loading – Placing or restraining the load of the vehicle
  • Driving – The physical act of driving a vehicle
  • Operating – A responsible person/ entity which controls the use of a vehicle
  • Receiving – Paying for the goods/ taking possession of the goods


The primary objective of CoR is to enhance safety on the roads. By imposing responsibilities on multiple parties, it encourages a collective effort to address safety risks associated with heavy vehicle operations. This includes ensuring that vehicles are properly maintained, loaded within legal limits, and operated in a safe manner.


The CoR promotes accountability by holding each party responsible for their actions or omissions that may impact safety. It helps prevent the practice of transferring all responsibility onto the driver alone, recognizing that other parties in the chain also contribute to safety outcomes.


The CoR reinforces compliance with relevant regulations and standards. It sets clear expectations for all parties involved, outlining their legal obligations in relation to heavy vehicle operations. This helps maintain consistency and ensures that safety measures are consistently applied throughout the supply chain.
Compliance with Workplace Health and Safety laws ensures a safe and secure environment for all employees.
JSEAsy Risk Management

Risk Management

The CoR encourages proactive risk management practices. It necessitates identifying potential risks and implementing appropriate control measures to mitigate them. This can involve conducting risk assessments, providing adequate training and supervision, and establishing effective communication channels within the supply chain.

Industry Collaboration

The CoR promotes collaboration and communication among different entities in the supply chain. It requires parties to share information, coordinate efforts, and work together to ensure safety and compliance. This can lead to better operational efficiency, improved risk management, and enhanced safety outcomes

Communication and Training

Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) serves as a communication tool for all parties involved in the transport activities, including drivers, supervisors, workers, and contractors. It provides a clear and standardized document that outlines the safety requirements and procedures to be followed. This promotes effective communication, understanding, and collaboration among the workforce. Additionally, a SWMS can be used as a training resource to educate employees about safe work practices, hazards, and risk control measures.

Toolbox meetings and Daily Prestart Meetings are also a good way to communicate and document safety issues, requirements and are evidence of training

Contractor Management

In the transport industry, subcontractors and external service providers are often involved. Ploicies, Toolbox Meetings and SWMS help in managing contractor safety by clearly outlining the safety requirements and expectations. It ensures that contractors are aware of their responsibilities and adhere to the agreed-upon safety standards, reducing the likelihood of incidents or non-compliance issues.

Chain of Responsibility (CoR) Policy and Procedure Contents

You can purchase the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) Policy and Procedure as a stand alone document or it’s included in the  JSEAsy Premium version along with all of our other polices and procedures, Safe Work Method Statements and Safe Operating Procedures as a total; WHS/ OHS management system to help you with compliance and implementation.

Contents of the Policy and procedure include:


  • Raising Concerns.
  • Driver responsibilities.
  • Consignor/consignee responsibilities.
  • PCBU responsibilities:
  • Receiving.
  • Driving.
  • Packing.
  • Who is included in the Chain?
  • Load Restraint
  • Speed.
  • Driver Fatigue.
  • Scope.
  • Purpose.
  • Introduction
  • Outcome.
  • Policy.
  • Fatigue Management
  • Speed Management
  • Mass and Dimension Limits.
  • Consigning.
  • Loading.
  • Operating.
  • Responsibilities.
  • Manager/ Operator/ Scheduler responsibilities:
  • Loading manager/loader/packer responsibilities.
  • Breaching the Policy.
  • Related Policies.
  • Acknowledgement Form.

JSEAsy a Complete Safety Management System

The JSEAsy Premium version has an array of different policies, procedures, registers and checklists to compliment the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) Policy and Procedure as well as manage your safety obligations under the WHS ACT and Regulations

The WHS forms listed below are particularly pertinent to the Transport Industry. 

A full list of the WHS Forms can be found here.