Fleet News

Zurich's five steps to a safer driving culture

INSURANCE giant Zurich has issued a five-point action plan designed to help fleets introduce a work-related road safety plan and adopt a 'safer driving culture'.

The group launched its initiatives at a driver awareness event in conjunction with driver training provider, Drive & Survive.

Last week, Zurich announced details of a survey that revealed out of 200 companies polled, 39% do nothing to promote driver safety while only 3% check employees' driving history and licences (Fleet NewsNet January 22).

Ron Munro, motor manager for Zurich's Corporate and Government division, said fleets needed to address five issues when integrating work-related road safety with company health and safety.

Policies, responsibility, organisation, structure, systems and monitoring need to be addressed with continual reassessments, according to Munro.

He said: 'Companies need to ensure their safety policy, which must be written if there are more than five employees, covers work-related road safety. They also need to make sure that the responsible person has the authority to exert influence and that everyone knows what is expected of them.'

Companies must also ensure that they communicate with fleet drivers when promoting a safer working environment.

'Ensure that the different departments of larger organisations and the links in smaller organisations involved in driving activities can communicate and share best practice,' Munro added.

Systems should be up-to-date, enabling fleet executives to complete thorough vehicle checks.

Munro said: 'The systems must be adequate to manage road safety effectively – for example vehicles are regularly inspected and serviced according to manufacturers' recommendations.'

Finally, Munro believes a fleet road safety policy must be continually assessed and monitored.

He added: 'There must be proper performance monitoring to ensure that the policy is effective. Things to be careful of are to ensure that employees are not punished for reporting incidents.

'Any monitoring system must have sufficient information to analyse whether more action is required as the lack of appropriate data could result in inaccurate conclusions.'

Managing the risks

  • Assess risks on the road: look for hazards, decide who might be harmed, evaluate the risk, record the findings, review the assessment and revise if necessary
  • Evaluate the risk of the driver: look at competency, training, fitness and health
  • Evaluate the risk of the vehicle: suitability, condition, safety equipment and ergonomic considerations
  • Evaluate the journey: routes, scheduling, time, distance and weather conditions Source: Zurich

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