Fleet News

Ergonomics guide slates 'pain-in-the-back' solus deals

SOLUS fleet deals could be bad for company car drivers, according to a new 'back to basics' internet guide to fleet health and safety, based on a Government-commissioned report. The site at http://www. drivingergonomics.com includes an eight-point action plan for fleet decision-makers to save companies from rocketing costs caused by back injuries to drivers covering high mileages in cars.

It advises fleets to consider more factors than simply the purchase price or monthly lease cost of a car in determining a company car choice list. Its recommendations include avoiding 'solus or duplex' agreements for car selection to provide drivers with access to a wider range of car choice.

The guide adds that employers should ensure their drivers have an input into car selection; should carry out regular reviews of car choice lists; and should encourage test drives before drivers choose their cars. It also includes a driving posture and position guide for fleet drivers, advice on risk management and the effect of using the car as an office, including the dangers of mobile phones and even typing on a laptop.

The website follows a confidential report 'Reducing Back Pain in High Mileage Business Drivers' by Loughbor-ough University and HJ Consultancy. They spent a year investigating the long-term health problems suffered by high business mileage drivers, on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive and Department of Health. The team behind the research estimates absence through sickness caused by back injuries is six times greater for staff who drive more than four hours per day.

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