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Registered Codes of Practice: Heavy vehicle safety is everyone’s business

Do you have a good understanding of the Registered Industry Codes of Practice (RICP) for the heavy vehicle industry? As part of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulators (NHVR) safety, accreditation and compliance requirements, a business can adopt a tailored RICP for parties in the chain of responsibility, which identifies, analyses, evaluates and treats risks associated with meeting the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

The new codes came into effect earlier this year after the federal government committed to $350,000 towards its development. The guidelines have been welcomed by the industry, and have only complemented the NHVR’s Safety Strategy, which includes new Chain of Responsibility Laws, a national roadworthiness program, National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual and checklists.

Adopting RICPs

Adoption of Registered Code of Practice for heavy vehicles is a voluntary choice by an operator in the chain of responsibility. We believe it’s a great way to provide a safer and more accountable heavy vehicle industry, as Australian manufacturers look to the future for new innovations, developments and implementation.

How do the Registered Code of Practice relate to laws?

The NHVR has broken down the Heavy Vehicle National Law and how it relates not only to Industry Code of Practice but to tools and outcomes. Here’s how it works.

Heavy Vehicle National Law has requirements for:

  • Roadworthiness
  • Mass, dimensions and loading
  • Fatigue and fitness for duty
  • High-risk behaviours

Which are made easier to follow with the RICP by:

  • Following the risk management process ISO31000
  • Helping identify risks
  • Assessing risks
  • Finding ways for controls to be applied

Tools to help your chain of responsibility follow the RICP and National Heavy Vehicle Law are:

  • TruckSafe
  • CraneSafe
  • Other industry schemes
  • Other supply chain schemes
  • Safety management schemes

Finally, the outcomes of following adopting the RICP and using the tools in line with the law include:

  • Improved safety
  • Increase compliance
  • Greater productivity
  • Legal defence

A new approach to industry codes of practice

The new RICP’s will differ from the old Industry Codes of Practice. Here’s how.

  • Risk-based approach: The prior codes of practice took a more prescriptive and specific approach, but with the new codes, adopters will take a risk-based approach the encourages you to designs and develop safety systems scaled and appropriate to your own operations.
  • Freely available: Before, the codes had restricted availability. Now, they are published on the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator website for any heavy industry business to use, subject to terms of use.
  • Wider auditing options: You no longer need to be a member of certain accreditation schemes to be audited. It’s now accessible to any person or business.
  • More likely to comply in 2018: As the new RICP’s are focused on risk-based compliance and safety management, those who adopt the new practices are more likely to pass and comply with legislative changes in 2018.

The Drake Group, including Drake Trailers and O’Phee Trailers, support and adhere to the Registered Industry Codes of Practice, which is evident in all our finished heavy transport trailers. If you’re looking for a trailer to help your business optimise safety and efficiency, get in contact with us today.

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