Issue 119 | 22 July 2021 | Coronavirus Special Edition
Message from the CEO
It continues to be a challenging time for the heavy vehicle industry, whether you’re a driver, an operator or part of the supply chain.
The NHVR is continuing to work with governments and industry to provide clear advice and coordinated information on the current round of changes to interstate and in some cases intra-state travel, which are being rolled out to meet the health requirements in each state.
Despite the challenges, personally I’ve never been prouder to have been involved in an industry that has shown a remarkable ability to adapt and remain resilient in the face of the on-going changes brought about in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I believe that sentiment is echoed by many Australians who recognise the difficulty of the operating environment and are grateful for the efforts to continue to operate and underpin Australia’s economy.
Testing, passes and exemptions
A summary of the COVID-19 testing and border pass requirements for heavy vehicles is below. For specific details on the requirements for each state and territory, visit www.nhvr.gov.au/coronavirus
Australian Capital Territory Is a border pass required? No Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? No, but it is recommended
New South Wales Is a border pass required? Yes Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? Yes
Northern Territory Is a border pass required? Yes Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? Yes
Queensland Is a border pass required? Yes Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? Yes
South Australia Is a border pass required? Yes Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? Yes
Tasmania Is a border pass required? Yes Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? Yes
Victoria Is a border pass required? Yes Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? Yes
Western Australia Is a border pass required? Yes Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? Yes
Take the time to take the test
All heavy vehicle drivers operating under Standard hours, BFM or AFM are reminded that taking a COVID test is a permitted personal activity under the National Personal Use Exemption Notices.
The exemption recognises that heavy vehicle drivers may need to use their fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle for personal reasons from time to time if they cannot reasonably access alternative means of transport.
These notices allow a driver up to one additional hour of time to complete permitted personal activities if the vehicle is unloaded and certain conditions are met. The exemption only applies to activities at either end of a shift, or at any time during a 24-hour break.
> For full details and to check your eligibility to apply and use an Exemption Notice, click here
> For information on Personal Use Exemption Notices for Standard hours, click here
> For information on Personal Use Exemption Notices for AFM and BFM hours, click here
COVID-safe toolbox talk kit
A COVID-19 toolbox talk kit is available to assist staff as part of your Safety Management System.
The toolbox talk kit includes a series of quick guides, videos, checklists and templates as part of the NHVR’s wider suite of Safety Management System guidance materials for industry use. The toolbox talk information focusses on COVID safety associated with heavy vehicles, workplaces, general hygiene – including wearing face masks – and positive mental health actions.
NHVR Safety Assurance Director Greg Fill said all transport operators should continue to have safety conversations with their staff and drivers to reduce the risk of transmission within their workplace, including when handling freight or interacting with other parties in the supply chain.
“Toolbox talks between management and staff are one of the easiest and most effective ways to share important safety information and reinforce responsibility for everyone’s safety,” Greg said.
“The NHVR’s materials can be easily modified to include company information such as logos and additional topics that are specific to businesses. This could include how to report safety incidents and what to do if staff are sick or notice symptoms.”
Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line ready to assist
The NHVR is reminding drivers that the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line (HVCRL) is ready to assist with reporting safety issues across the Chain of Responsibility.
NHVR Safety Assurance Director Greg Fill said the current changes in operating conditions due to COVID-19 had increased the likelihood of stress on drivers and operators.
“This has been a challenging time for our industry, but we don’t want it to worsen by people putting others in danger,” Greg said.
“The HVCRL team are ready and willing to assist with resolving safety issues across the supply chain, such as inappropriate or undue pressure at the depot, the distribution centre or the drop-off point.
“The pressure is being compounded by additional requirements around borders, as well as hygiene and mask-wearing requirements that drivers are having to manage.
“Now more than ever, it’s critical that all businesses follow the rules to keep our industry safe and Australia moving.”
Operators or drivers concerned about being asked to sign or perform a contract that is in breach of Chain of Responsibility laws should contact the NHVR’s Confidential Reporting Line on 1800 931 785.
The Heavy Vehicle National Law:
Imposes a positive obligation on any party in the Chain of Responsibility to ensure their conduct doesn’t encourage the driver of a heavy vehicle to contravene the law, and;
Specifically prohibits those parties from requiring or entering into a contract with a driver that would encourage the driver to speed, work while fatigued or drive in breach of the driver’s work and rest hours options.