An investigation by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has uncovered evidence of falsified records and insufficient fatigue management, compliance, and auditing practices by a multi-national logistics company.
The company has subsequently been issued with an Improvement Notice.
NHVR Investigators completed an extensive safety duties investigation after receiving a report through the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line.
Evidence found the company had scheduled drivers to drive between Adelaide, Melbourne and regional New South Wales without sufficient rest hours.
Multiple drivers had falsified their National Driver Work Diary pages by recording rest breaks during work hours.
NHVR Director of Investigations Steve Underwood said these activities were a serious breach of fatigue management regulations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
“Alarmingly, the company’s tight scheduling and insufficient auditing allowed these critical risk breaches to occur. Drivers exceeded the maximum allowable work time by as much as 3 hours in a 24 hour period,” said Underwood.
“This Improvement Notice ensures the company will make scheduling arrangements that allows drivers to recover from fatigue, record all long-distance work hours accurately and won’t cause drivers to work in breach of their work and rest options.
“This should act as a reminder to all operators to check you have right protections in place to manage fatigue, set manageable schedules and carry out robust quality assurance measures, to meet their safety and regulatory obligations.”
Under the Improvement Notice, the logistics company must make improvements to their scheduling and auditing practices. Every vehicle combination in the company’s fleet will use an Electronic Work Diary to support compliance with fatigue laws, as part of the notice.
The company is subject to monitoring by NHVR Investigators over a six-month period to ensure compliance with the notice.