A logging company and its director based in Tasmania were recently prosecuted and fined over ongoing fatigue breaches by the company.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) prosecuted the company and its director, following guilty pleas to a series of offences under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
Over a 12-month period, the company had 251 fatigue-related breaches which were undetected by the company and director. Due to the management of these practices, charges were laid under sections 26G and 26H of the HVNL.
As a result of the serious offences, the Tasmanian Local Court issued two Supervisory Intervention Orders (SIOs) worth $100,000 to the company and director, requiring them to address their faults in fatigue management.
The court also ordered a fine of $80,000 and issued the Director a fine of $8000.
SIOs are court orders that require a company or individual to implement better practices, train staff and implement safety systems or procedures to ensure future compliance with the HVNL. If the company fails to comply, it can be brought back before the court.
NHVR director of prosecutions Belinda Hughes said both outcomes are significant as they will help improve safety across the industry.
“Both the company and the Director must now engage an accredited training provider to receive training in key areas like applying a fatigue risk management system and then administer that system,” said Hughes.
“The sentence is designed to deter the company and individual from repeating the offence while protecting the safety of the industry and the broader community. We urge all companies to review their training practices to manage the fatigue of their drivers.
“Fatigue is a serious issue that can result in serious injury or death. It is imperative you train your drivers and take on the responsibility of fatigue management.”