Vital compliance checks for business owners coming out of lockdown.
Businesses will soon be planning to reopen and get their employees back to work after the government announces the new workplace rules later this week.
These rules are likely to include social distancing, wearing of personal protective equipment, and the possibility of staggering work times.
One area of importance is how private and company vehicles are going to be used by employees and contractors. Many people have not driven their vehicles for several weeks, which highlights extended risks for both employees and company directors.
In Wuhan China, it has been reported there has been a 32% increase in the use of private cars from public transport, because personal vehicles were seen to be safer.
There are some vital checks which should be carried out by business owners and drivers as we prepare to come out of lockdown.
Vehicles have now been parked up in workplaces and outside people’s homes throughout lockdown and we should all take time to review our current procedures on vehicle and driver checks to stay within the law and make sure that employees are safely put back on the roads. This include vehicle checks for defects and roadworthiness and driver checks on health & wellbeing as well as licensing.
It’s important to remember this doesn’t just concern employees with company owned vehicles but also the ‘grey fleet’ drivers who are the employees that use their own vehicles whilst on company business, an area which is still miss understood by many. In a recent’ Driving for Better Business’ survey, 60% of senior executives said they ‘didn’t know about the grey fleet’ or ‘how big it was’ in their business.
Health & Safety Laws require that all employers show the same ‘duty of care’ to employees driving their own private vehicles as they do for company-owned, leased or hired vehicles. Employers have a legal obligation to ensure all vehicles used for work purposes, irrespective of who owns them are safe and properly maintained and that drivers are licensed and insured.
Rebecca Hall managing director of HH Driveright commented, “We all have a duty of care to make sure that we put safety first for anyone driving any type of vehicle whilst on company time, including both employees and contractors. Having the correct processes in place for checking and reporting is very important. You wouldn’t put people at risk asking them to drive 5 or even 100 miles to see a customer without checking first that are fit to drive, their vehicle is in roadworthy condition without any defects and they have the correct licence and insurance in place. With the current lockdown being in place since March 23rd, its even more important to get on top of processes for people returning to the new normal.”
At Fleet Live in October 2019, we learned that only 38% of directors regularly check their drivers have the correct insurance and 50% of all vehicles on UK roads are used for business purposes.
- Think about your own organisation, have you got a way to keep track of the vehicles used by employees or contractors? You should keep as a minimum:
- Insurance details including business cover for those employees using their own vehicles for work related journeys other than just commuting
- Vehicle maintenance checks such as oil and brake fluid levels
- Roadworthiness including defects, windscreens, tyres etc
Road tax validity
Checking drivers every day will reduce the risks of incidents taking place. Make sure that every driver is fit to drive and put in place a way to monitor individual driving behaviours, which can result in further education or wellbeing support. These checks should include:
- Licence validity
- Age and the drivers experience
- Health issues and alcohol or drug use
- Driver behaviours such as speeding, harsh braking and using a mobile phone
Keeping a track on your drivers and vehicles requires responsibility and accountability. Checks can be completed and recorded on manual systems such as using spreadsheets, but as your fleet and drivers increase it would make sense to look at a more efficient method which could be the introduction of a tech system such as the HH Driveright service.