Driving at Work: Fleet Risk Management

Driving for work is completed by most businesses, to varying degrees. It can be defined as operating any vehicle, whether company owned, or a private vehicle where the employee claims mileage, (commonly referred to as Grey Fleet), motorcycle, or bike as part of a work activity. 

Driving is likely to be the most dangerous activity that employees will do, in the UK there were 1,633 road deaths in 2023. It is estimated that nearly a 3rd of all traffic accidents involve someone at work.

Employers have a responsibility to make sure that this risk is managed, in the same way as any other workplace risk, by completing a risk assessment, failure to do so has the same consequences as any other health and safety breach. Whilst road traffic law is enforced by the police and others, such as DVSA and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), may take action against a business if management failures are a significant factor in the incident. 

What do I need to consider in my risk assessment? 

When assessing the risk, there are many things to consider, here are three key elements:

     1. The Driver

  • When was the last time you checked the validity of your driver’s licence?
  • Has the driver received instruction and training?
  • When was the last time this was provided?
  • Have you provided a driver’s handbook?
  • Are they fit to drive? When was the last time they completed eyesight tests?

Ensure you consider the individual as part of your risk assessment, does the driver have the maturity, health, or experience to complete the task? Ensure emergency situations are also covered in your risk assessment, for example breakdowns and accidents, confirm that drivers are aware of what to do in the event of an incident. 

     2. The Vehicle

  • Are vehicle checks completed and recorded?
  • Is a servicing regime in place? Think about grey fleet, is this confirmed?
  • Do vehicles have the correct aids? Reversing cameras, sensors, storage space?

Like with any equipment in the workplace, ensure that your vehicle is fit for purpose. For example, are goods secured in the vehicle to prevent injury? Is the vehicle comfortable for long journeys? 

Daily vehicle checks should be completed, ensure drivers know how to do these and implement management checks to ensure this is being done. If grey fleet vehicles are used, check that business insurance is in place, the vehicle is roadworthy, and subject to a servicing regime.

     3. The Journey

  • Are schedules realistic?
  • Are breaks, weather conditions and potential delays factored into the plan?
  • Are the safest roads considered?
  • Do drivers stay overnight to avoid excessive working and driving hours?

The risk from driving is the same as any other health and safety risk, if you can avoid the risk, such as providing an overnight stay to avoid a very long drive, or by delaying the drive due to inclement weather, then it must be considered. Journeys should be planned with sufficient time to avoid any perceived pressures. 

There are various templates and policies on the Sentient members area to assist your business, ensure you tailor these to your risks and activities. If you need any support from Sentient, such as a fleet review, risk assessment, or support with documentation, don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

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