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Understanding your link in the responsibility chain is the bedrock for the fleet manager’s role. He or she has obligations to those below and expectations from above. It’s the principle that underpins the legal responsibilities within an organisation to reduce and mitigate risk in the workplace, especially in relation to vehicles.

The vehicular-focused Chain of Responsibility regulations include several parties. They are the vehicle driver’s employer, primary contractor of the driver, the operator of the vehicle, the scheduler of the goods or passengers for transport by the vehicle and the relative scheduler of the driver, the consignor and the consignee of the goods/transport of the vehicle, the loading manager in charge of stowage of any goods or people being transported by the vehicle, the loader of the vehicle who actually places goods or people for transportation in or on the vehicle, and anybody in charge of un-loading said goods or people from the vehicle at destination. It’s important to keep in mind many of these roles and responsibilities can be undertaken by the same person.

Procedure is designed to avert risk and avoid harm, placing shared responsibility on relevant parties to act in this manner. In this vain, organisations/people are required to take all ‘reasonable steps’ to ensure any directive, procedure, behaviour, attitude, instruction or knowledge does not cause a particular outcome without limiting the ways in which a person may take those steps. Start by identifying and assessing where potential risks may lay in an undertaking and identify and, where possible, implement the best strategies to avoid that course of action where a risk is present.

Ultimately, it’s illegal for any person in the Chain of Responsibility to ask, instruct or imply, or require, whether directly or indirectly, that any driver or party also within the Chain of Responsibility to do, act or perform any task or instruction where they know, or reasonably ought to know, the effect could cause the driver to drive while impaired by fatigue, drive while in breath of his/her rest hours option, or drive in break of any other law to avoid driving while impaired by fatigue or breach those same work/rest hours option.

You’ll find further information on the AfMA Fleet Management Guide website, CLICK HERE and scroll down to the section you need.