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Duty of care for employees driving for work

Why is there a spotlight on this issue?

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The Government has made clear it intends to pursue a policy of reducing road traffic accidents. Research has shown that people driving for work are more likely than other road users to be involved in an accident resulting in death or serious injury. 

Therefore there is an increasing focus by the authorities on work related driving and they are using existing Health and Safety legislation to do this. Companies are now likely to be investigated by the police in the wake of a serious road traffic accident.



What is the current Legislation?

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The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 makes employers responsible for, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of employees while at work. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992, amended in 1999, employers need to carry out an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees while they are at work, and to other people who may be affected by their work activities. 

People driving on company business are considered to be 'at work' and the vehicle they are driving, regardless of whether the company or privately owned is considered to be a place of work. This does not include travelling to and from work, unless it is not their usual place of work.



What has to be done?

In simple terms companies need to have a safety management system for driving at work just as they would for any other work related activity. This needs to cover:

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  • Vehicle maintenance and suitability 
  • Driver competency and training 
  • Journey management 
  • Internal management processes to monitor, review and react

What Fleet UK do to help?

This is not a new issue; in fact it is one that has been solved by many Health and Safety departments in many big companies. The problem is that most small to medium size businesses do not have the resource to address the challenge. We have taken this as an opportunity to provide an additional service to our customers. We have become experts in the field and offer a managed service that allows our customers to meet the statutory requirements of the legislation without distracting them from their own businesses and their own customers.

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To achieve this we have gone into partnership with Bywater who are a well established company in the Health & Safety and Management Systems field. Bywater have provided accredited ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 Internal and Lead Auditor training courses to a host of companies around the world for nearly 30 years. When this is combined with our practical experience of the motor industry and fleet management, we can together, offer a unique, comprehensive and effective service to our customers. 

Most importantly our offering is an end to end solution where we audit the current situation, identify the risks, put together best practice processes to manage the risks and then run these processes on behalf of our customers as required. The key areas are:

  • Vehicles maintained in a road worthy condition - regardless of ownership 
  • Drivers having valid of licences - including regular checking of endorsements 
  • Policies and practices in place that do not encourage driving when tired 
  • Guidance and training around specific vehicle health and safety risks 
  • Motor insurance - ensuring all vehicles are covered by valid and appropriate policies

We achieve this through a process that reviews and develops the following in a practical and pragmatic way:

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  • Initial risk assessment and ongoing updating 
  • Driver policy and business implementation 
  • Management training and induction programs 
  • Driver assessment, induction and training programs 
  • Fleet management process 
  • Multi-media 'inform the driver' communication strategy In vehicle technology implementation and benefit delivery 
  • Business KPI setup and reporting including CO2 footprint and fuel costs



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