WORK DIARY PARITY TARGETED; NATIONAL GOVERNMENT-SERVICE EXEMPTION SOUGHT

By: Fabian Cotter


THE BUS INDUSTRY CONFEDERATION is lobbying the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) for an exemption for government-contracted bus services Australia wide to not have to use any type of work diary – an exemption that currently only exists in NSW.

WORK DIARY PARITY TARGETED; NATIONAL GOVERNMENT-SERVICE EXEMPTION SOUGHT
The BIC is seeking an exemption for government-contracted bus services nationally to not have to use any type of work diary.

It comes at a time of a NHVR announcement that it will accept applications for approval of Electronic Work Diaries (EWDs) after a final consultation report was issued recently.

NHVR Productivity and Safety executive director Geoff Casey said the Regulator was satisfied EWDs would provide a sustainable and effective voluntary alternative to written work diaries to record work and rest hours for heavy vehicle drivers.

"There are more than 200,000 written work diaries purchased every year, including many by drivers who are already using electronic systems to assist in managing their work and rest hours," Casey said.

"I’d like to thank all the operators and organisations that took the time to provide feedback during the consultation period earlier this year.

"After reviewing the feedback I am satisfied that the issues raised have or will be addressed and the development of EWDs as a voluntary option for drivers can begin.

"From next month, we will be in a position to start receiving and assessing applications for approval from technology providers and transport operators who have advised their intention to develop an EWD. I’d expect to see EWD products available for drivers in the coming months," Casey explained.

The NHVR received 25 submissions during the consultation period between December and February. In the Notice of Final Rule Making 1702 released, the NHVR clarified how operators would be treated fairly whether using written work diaries or EWDs, including outlining that drivers can make manual entries at any time prior to accepting the information at the end of their work day.

The NHVR will review candidate systems against the EWD Standards and a list of EWDs that have been approved will be available on the NHVR website.

Casey said the NHVR had also agreed to waive any regulatory fees for companies or individuals submitting candidate systems for approval.

"We’ve also been working closely with authorised officers and police to inform them of the type of information they’ll see under the EWD Compliance View," Casey said.

Fundamentally, the record-keeping requirements for an EWD's are no different to the requirements for Written Work Diary (WWD).

Fast Facts on EWDs:

•     Only NHVR can approve current systems that meet or are upgraded to meet the EWD Standards;

•     EWD information is collected by the technology provider you choose, and sent to your nominated record keeper;

•     Authorised Officers will have the same access to EWD information as they have to written work diary entries, and there will be a standard enforcement view everyone can see;

•     An EWD can be an app on a smart phone / tablet or a full blown integrated commercial telematics system;

•     Drivers can switch between EWD and WWD at any time;

•     Vehicles can be moved without logging into an EWD;

•     Data is sent to the record keeper and is not automatically sent to authorities;

•     Enforcement officers can access the last 28 days of records on the roadside;

•     An EWD will automatically summarise potential breaches;

•     EWDs record in 1 min intervals but breaches of less than 15min will not be displayed;

•     Work breaches of less than 8 min cannot be prosecuted;

•     EWD records can be corrected by the driver;

•     There is a provision to record comments if needed (e.g. if a parking bay is full);

•     An EWD will alert the driver before a work or rest breach occurs;

•     All current work and rest hours regimes and exemption notices will continue to apply;

•     If a device malfunctions or stops working, supplementary records can be kept.

Further information is available on the NHVR website www.nhvr.gov.au/ewd

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