Building a better National Safety Management System

04-11-2020

The revised National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) Business Rules and Standards will better align with modern safety systems when they roll out from February 2021.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the reforms for more than 7,600 NHVAS customers had been finalised following a review of the scheme and widespread industry consultation.

“Through the NHVAS review and our engagement with industry, we identified several areas where we were able to improve the structure of the system to make it more logical and easier to understand, and to remove gaps within the framework,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“In particular, key changes have been made to more closely align NHVAS with safety management systems to better assist customers meet their requirements under the Chain of Responsibility laws.

“Operators enrolled in NHVAS will continue to benefit from productivity improvements linked to increased mass, maintenance and more flexible fatigue modules.

“It is pleasing to see that operators enrolled in NHVAS are regularly shown to be safer and have fewer compliance breaches than non-participating operators. This was also highlighted in the most recent industry safety survey undertaken earlier this year.

“The changes will be effective for new participants from 22 February 2021, and we will work with existing participants to transition to the revised Rules and Standards over one accreditation cycle, which can be up to two years.”

Some of the other key reforms being introduced include:

  • requirements for crash and incident reporting of major and significant events
  • a register of infringements and defects notices received
  • fit and proper person requirements as part of the assessment criteria
  • maintenance strengthened to now include daily inspection of tow couplings and drawbars.

The NHVAS was first offered to industry in 1999 as an alternative compliance scheme. It has evolved as a formal process for recognising operators that have robust safety and other management systems in place. The NHVR has been the single administrator of the scheme since 10 February 2014.

The NHVR administers the Heavy Vehicle National Law, which regulates the transport activities of more than 165,000 businesses to achieve a safe, efficient and productive heavy vehicle industry within Australia’s supply chain.

More details on the revised Rules and Standards, as well as the Notice of Final Rule Making, are available at www.nhvr.gov.au/nhvas-review

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