Fleet News

Risk assessment is number one priority

SLASHING employee liability costs through risk assessment programmes has become a key priority for fleets as they move into 2005.

But despite this, 58% of employers still have no formal risk assessment procedures for staff driving on company business.

British firms are starting to adopt risk assessment programmes in a bid to limit their exposure to soaring insurance premiums and the growing threat of employee litigation. The results were drawn from a seminar held by LeasePlan, in conjunction with The Financial Times, and produced in the newly-launched Employer Liability Best Practices and the Cost of Compliance report.

The survey found that 43% of delegates believe the health and safety of staff is their greatest concern with regard to employee liability (EL).

It added that 92% of delegates believe effective risk profiling and assessment are crucial to reduce the cost of EL, although only 8% said that their risk management was ‘very successful’.

The study notes that when companies consider the safety of their staff, company vehicles should come close to the top of the list. It said: ‘However, 43% of seminar delegates maintained that the cost of vehicle accidents in their company was not monitored at board level, with a startling 58% stating that there was no formal risk assessment procedure for individuals driving on business.’

The survey adds: ‘With new corporate manslaughter legislation expected soon, employers must recognise the monetary and legal ramifications of not implementing proper procedures.’

On accident rates, the survey suggests that risk assessing drivers is difficult. It said: ‘It is hard because people tend to tell lies if asked a direct question. Assessment needs to be based on selective factors, where the objective is to identify who needs training.

‘It’s the old 80/20 rule: 20% of drivers cause 80% of accidents, and the next 20% cause 80% of the remaining accidents. This kind of selective training can actually create a circle of improvement among all drivers in a company, including occasional drivers.’

To reduce employee liability costs, employers are encourage to:

  • Profile their EL risks
  • Identify the total cost of EL risks
  • Identify key drivers behind the EL risks
  • Design and implement risk management systems
  • Monitor risks on a regular basis and:
  • Communicate clearly with employees.
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