The government targets to reduce the number of crashes involving at work drivers combined with the recently introduced Corporate Manslaughter Act have brought health and safety firmly to the top of the agenda for all companies. Today, the onus is on businesses to take a holistic approach to duty of Care, but what measures can SMEs implement to ensure they operate best practice?
While many companies are aware that it is their responsibility to check corporately-sourced vehicles are serviced, maintained and repaired in accordance with best practice and insured for business use, the same cannot be always be said for privately-owned cars driven on business. While there is no way for an employer to eliminate health and safety risks altogether, there are a range of steps SMEs can apply to managing their fleet to reduce the risks.
Best Practice Policy
The introduction of a well communicated best practice company car/van policy can drive down the risks in a fleet’s key areas. This can be formulated following a risk assessment of the fleet across the five core areas: health and safety, legislation, environmental, employee and financial. From this, it is possible to set out a business’ views, rules, guidelines and procedures affecting the fleet to help lower all fleet related risks. Remember to consider all vehicles being used for business and have audit trails as proof that checks have been conducted. So make sure procedures are in place to look at insurance and MOT documents and ensure basic maintenance inspections are being carried out, for example, on tyres, lights and fluid levels.
The Eco Fleet duty of care suite of services are designed to help you meet your Health and Safety obligations.
ecofleet’s duty of care suite is a collection of several distinct services, each of which can be used on their own, or they can be linked with other services to create a comprehensive solution.
- Fleet Risk Audit
- Driver License Checking
- Online Driver Assessments
- Practical Driver Training
- Road Risk Seminars
- On-Road Assessments
Fleet Risk Audit
We will conduct a complete review of your fleet operations and its associated risks. The audit covers legal, financial and operational issues, culminating in a detailed report incorporating recommendations for remedial action. We’ll help implement the recommendations and communicate procedural requirements to your employees.
Driver License Checking
We will check that your drivers have valid drivers licences, which will be checked as often as you need (normally, an annual check is sufficient).
Online Driver Assessment
Online psychometric tests are designed to allow you to make ‘reasonable attempts’ to assess driver competency so that you can identify risk and provide remedial training where necessary.
Practical Driver Training
Specialists will assess the risk status of drivers through a combination of pre-driving checks and 1 hour on-road practical assessments. We can then provide on-road tuition for drivers who have been assessed or identified as ‘at risk’. The duration is 4 hours for one to one training, or 7 hours for two to one sessions.
Road Risk Seminars
A highly cost effective means of assessing driver risk and improving driver performance, seminars last 4 hours for up to 24 people. Each seminar includes pre-assessment checks and practical on-road sessions. One DSA accredited trainer is allocated for every 4 drivers.
On- Road Assessments
On road assessments are conducted by qualified inspectors. They last one hour and include driver, vehicle and documentation checks. They are particularly useful to check the validity of staff owned vehicles that are occasionally used for business. Where required, an extra 30 minutes instruction can be provided to drivers to cover the benefits of Eco-Driving techniques.
Duty of Care can have a real impact on all areas of a business. There is no way to eliminate risk altogether, however by recognising the types of risk posed and then implementing a few key strategies to address them, companies will see quantifiable benefits coming through. Such strategies should protect a company from legislative risk, help drive down the number of accidents on the road, improve fleet efficiency and ultimately lead to increased profits.