No matter if you use just one van, or run a whole fleet of different vehicles, you need to ensure you and your staff are meeting your legal and moral! requirements under the current legislation. This guide or checklist may assist you in complying.
Most of these tasks can be completed in-house and require just a little common sense to meet the basic requirements, but you can always do more!
As a Fleet Manager or someone with responsibilities for driver training, you try to be professional in your approach to all things.
As you know, risk assessments and driver training must be carried out and updated regularly for ALL aspects of an employee's work, if this work includes driving, then as a simple rule you must also include these aspects in your risk assessment and training programme.
We have provided this simple guide to try and help ensure you do not fall foul of the many rules that you may have to consider. We hope that it will assist you in your planning
Download your free copy of driving at Work" from the Health and Safety Executive website, and then order sufficient numbers for ALL your drivers.
Obtain your information of the Corporate Manslaughter Act, contravention of this act could lead organisations into paying unlimited fines for failing to act in a sensible way to prevent accidents causing death to employees or other road users. Get this free information pack now from from Safety Media
Introduce or review company policies which have a specific emphasis allied to driving ie; Mobile phone use for drivers of company vehicles. Do you know what constitutes a "hands free phone" and do you provide them? Can I be prosecuted if an employee uses a mobile phone whilst driving? Take a quick look at the following Government archive file On Driving for Work This was archived in September 2009, and still holds true today?
As an example, Are your office staff trained to ask if a person is driving, before commencing a long or complicated telephone call. Do you allow your managers to call employees and engage them on the phone for long conversations, this the equivalent of driving at the legal alcohol limit, as it seriously affects the drivers concentration.
It does not matter that the car is owned and paid for by the employee (grey fleet) You may still be liable for them and their actions. Company policies should refer to grey fleet vehicles in the same manner as company owned vehicles.
Sight and photocopy all your employee's driving licences, ensuring that address's are correct, they are insured to drive the categories of vehicles you require them to drive, is the photo on the licence less than ten years old. Are there any penalty points shown, and does your insurance company have limits on how many points can be collected. A common fault is not being licensed to drive certain catergories of vehicles, use the following guide to help you determine drivers licensing D100 Driving Licence Information Booklet
Look at your accident records and determine if one or more employee's are adding to this higher than normal ratio, target your high risk drivers for the quickest reduction in your fleet costs.
Introduce or review your vehicle checklist and fault reporting procedures. You as a manager can also become involved in court procedures if you knowingly allow a faulty vehicle onto the road. Download
a simple vehicle checklist
If you want a copy of our systematic vehicle and "cockpit" check procedure, just send us an email with your contact details
Look at your vehicle faults to determine if there are specific areas of concern, for example are clutches being worn out quicker than normal due to bad driving habits. Do certain vehicles have a higher than normal cost of maintenance per mile. Good training and early assessment can highlight these points and make drivers aware of how bad habits can raise maintenance costs and lower the resale value of the vehicle they drive.
Are you using the right vehicle for the job intended? As an example: we are sure that if you have engineers working for you, that they carry all their tools in the boot of the car, but do they then also have to carry the spare parts they are about to fit, within the vehicle itself? It is a fact that simple box of tissues on a rear parcel shelf, can weigh as much as a house brick when stopped suddenly from 30 mph. And in a roll over accident that could be hitting the driver and passengers several times over!
Carry out a training needs analysis, find out what standards are required for your drivers, what standards your drivers are currently at, and finally, what you must do to bridge this training gap. As an example find out when each driver passed their driving test, or had some refresher (defensive driver ) training. Look at their accident rates? it will help you prioritise training in the most cost effective way, dealing with the highest priority of risks and offenders first. Remember, to consider a suitable time frame to spread your cost of the training, a three year rolling program would be suitable for most personnel and organisations, unless the accident rate creeps up.
Make a formal training plan in consultation with staff and accreditted representatives, this will help you to decide the most cost effective way to train and risk assess your staff, and help you determine what driving policy's you need to review or implement. This will also prove that you have begun the risk assessment process and started your work in reducing the risk, so reducing the chances of being involved in legal action.
Make a cost benefit analysis to determine the cost savings that may apply if suitable training plan is implemented, again proving that training pays in the long term. If you think competence proves expensive, wait until you find out the cost of incompetence.
Perhaps you can identify a suitably competent person to act as your in-house assessor, give them appropriate further training from a fleet training provider, and when qualified they can then regularly assess your staff's car driving skills, but they must not carry out any training in-car, as this can only be done by qualified and approved driving instructors(ADI's). Visit the HSE website
to define what makes a competent person Or you may prefer to employ your local fleet driver training provider, who will be fully up to date with the latest driving techniques and eco-saving methods, have no previous knowledge of your staff so will treat them all fairly and equitably, and they will also know the best training routes in your area to make the course much more cost effective.
Contact your insurance company or broker to determine if a premium discount would apply, if all your staff were to be risk assessed and trained by a competent person. This could substantially reduce the overall cost of training, not only in the first year, but year on year, proving that training pays in the long term.
Look at your fuel costs, identify the lower mpg drivers and ascertain why. Appoint a fuel champion to monitor consumption and make recommendations. Visit the Feight Best Practice Website. A fuel saving of between 5-15% for a driver covering 40,000 miles per year could pay for all of the training costs.
Analyse your journey's to ascertain if you can eliminate wastage, group several areas together, and combine them into one trip but ensure maximum driving time is limited to two hours or less, followed by a short break, and that driving time is included in the working day allowance.
Act on CO2, reduce your carbon emissions, look at your green credentials and see if you can save money and make the planet a better place for us all. Visit Act on CO2 website
Contact your local fleet driver training provider, they will be able to answer all your questions and help you make the plans and confirm the cost savings. The large national training companies often use non local trainers who may not know the best training route in your area.
If you desire a free copy of a blank driver assessment report form in Adobe pdf format, please send us your name, company name, position and email address, and we wil forward one on to you!