A work diary is evidence that a professional driver’s work and rest hours are compliant with the relevant law and that their fatigue is being managed. To date most drivers of a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle are required to create a record of time spent working which includes driving time and resting on a daily basis. The new regulation names the circumstances where a work diary must be used as the method to create this record. With set legislation stating drivers mustn’t drive or work more than the maximum work hours or rest less than the minimum rest hours in a certain period set out by law.
National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) Chief Executive, Sal Petroccitto announced that Sunday the 10th of August will mark the end of the six-month change-over period, following the introduction of the new regulation regarding work diaries on 10th February, 2014.
What the New Regulation Means for Drivers
Starting midnight, the 11th August, drivers need to be recording their work and rest time as stipulated in the new work diary. The commencement of the Heavy Vehicle National Law which became legislation earlier this year will now see the new work diary rolled out in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. With the remaining States and territories yet to stipulate the terms to the law.
In the previously mentioned states where the new fatigue laws apply, all drivers of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles which applies to vehicles more than 12 tonne gross vehicle mass (GVM) who:
- Drive more than 100km from their home base
- Operate under Basic Fatigue Management or Advanced Fatigue Management
Must complete a work diary to record their work and rest times unless they have a work diary exemption. Those operating a heavy vehicle that fall under the new fatigue laws that may currently reside in a state or territory where the law doesn’t yet exist, travelling interstate are urged to pick up a copy as soon as possible. This is due to the consideration that when entering a state or territory where the law is applicable they must abide by the work diary provision. The updated work diary is on sale for $20 across the country, including those states and territories where the national law or work diary provision has not commenced.
Exemptions to the new fatigue laws
Exemptions may also be applicable to heavy vehicle drivers operating under standard hours, these reasons may include:
- Those unable to make records in their work diary due to literacy or a print disability
- Exemption may be given to those carrying out primary production in Queensland. This involves any activity where the transportation of produce or animals is used for their sale within a maximum distance of 160kilometres.
For more information on how the work diary applies in each state or territory, visit https://www.nhvr.gov.au/workdiary or call 1300 MYNHVR (1300 696 487).