restraint guide blog

LOAD RESTRAINT GUIDE 2018

Earlier this year, the National Transport Commission released a new, updated Load Restraint Guide 2018 for heavy vehicles, and for the first time Restraint guide for Light vehicles less than  4.5 tonnes.

Last reviewed in 2004, the revised guide is designed to provide transport operators, drivers and other participants in the transport chain of responsibility (COR) with practical advice on how to safely transport a load.

When launching the first draft of the new guide, NTC acting chief executive Geoff Allan highlighted the need for the update.[1]

"Items falling from trucks can cause collisions, deaths and injuries and contribute to congestion and environmental damage.”

"The aim is to improve freight operators’ understanding of how to properly restrain loads."

"Over the past twelve years, the power of vehicles and their braking ability has improved significantly, and this places greater stress on the load restraints," he says.

Unfortunately, some tipper operators do not have a particularly good image with the public due to the mud and clay deposits left behind on the road as well as the perception that tippers are more likely to cause damage from flying stones and other loose material.

The legal intent of the loading performance standards has not changed—the required level of restraint for a heavy vehicle load is the same.  However, the wording of the performance standards contained in the Load Restraint Guide 2018 has been amended to facilitate the transfer of the performance standards into the Heavy Vehicle National Law and the Australian Road Rules.[2]

Upon launching the new guide in 2018, NTC Chief Executive, Paul Retter, said the updated Load Restraint Guide provides practical advice on how to safely transport a load.[3]

“If you’re involved in packing, loading, moving or unloading any type of vehicle, you are responsible for complying with load restraint laws.

“Restraining your load is not complex, but it does require training and knowledge. This guide will help you to know how to restrain your load safely through practical guidance material, including diagrams, in a user-friendly style allowing you to find the information you need quickly,” he said.

The guide includes information on understanding the characteristics of the load in order to choose a suitable vehicle, as well as equipment and restraint systems which meet the performance standards legally required by law.

 

NEW PRIMARY DUTY LAWS IN 2018

Changes to the Chain of Responsibility are due to come in mid-2018. The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) will be amended to provide that every party in the heavy vehicle transport supply chain has a duty to ensure the safety of their transport activities.[4]

Under the changes, 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

The aim of COR is to make sure everyone in the supply chain shares responsibility for ensuring breaches of the HVNL do not occur. Under COR laws if you are named as a party in the chain of responsibility and you exercise (or have the capability of exercising) control or influence over any transport task, you have a responsibility to ensure the HVNL is complied with.

Drivers, operators and other participants in the transport chain of responsibility will be able to access an improved Load Restraint Guide and a complementary guide specifically for light vehicles on the National Transport Commission (NTC) website from today.

The guide includes information on understanding the characteristics of the load in order to choose a suitable vehicle, as well as equipment and restraint systems which meet the performance standards legally required by law.

“The guide is an invaluable resource to ensure you are restraining loads correctly to prevent incidents that can cause death or injury, as well as damage to your business’ reputation and finances.

“We encourage everyone who is involved in restraining loads to read the guide and keep it handy as a reference,” Mr Retter said.

This is the first time a version focusing on light vehicles has also been available, specifically for vehicles under 4.5 tonnes.

“The Load Restraint Guide for Light Vehicles presents advice specific to the needs of light vehicle drivers -  such as tradies, couriers or for the everyday driver taking a load to the rubbish tip - to make it easier for them to ensure their loads are restrained safely,” Mr Retter said.

 

[1] https://heavyvehicles.com.au/2017/06/14/draft-load-restraint-guide-unveiled/

[2] http://www.ntc.gov.au/heavy-vehicles/safety/load-restraint-guide/

[3] https://www.ntc.gov.au/about-ntc/news/media-releases/updated-load-restraint-guide-now-available/

[4] https://www.nhvr.gov.au/safety-accreditation-compliance/chain-of-responsibility/change-to-chain-of-responsibility