Fleet News

Fleet News Spring Conference: Vital rules not always popular

IT may take time for staff to get used to new health and safety policies but they prove a great asset to a company.

Conference delegates were told that Corgi, the Confederation for the Registration of Gas Installers, had introduced several health and safety policies – some of which caused controversy among staff.

But Phillippa Caine, the group's company secretary in charge of the 167-strong fleet, explained at the conference why such policies were vital. The group introduced a mobile phone ban before Government legislation was enforced last December despite opposition from drivers.

Caine said: 'As company secretary, I don't want to stand in court explaining why I have not implemented a policy. In regard to the total mobile phone ban, no call is important enough to risk taking someone's life.'

A blanket ban on wheel changing also means that drivers must call a roadside recovery provider to change the wheel, wherever the vehicle is situated.

Corgi's extensive health and safety policy includes initiatives such as updating its car user guide on a monthly basis, compulsory eye tests for all staff and six-monthly licence checks.

However, Caine said the group was reviewing its licence checking policy. She said: 'We are looking at whether six-month checks are actually good enough.' The group's 'casual' car policy is another initiative that is not popular with employees.

Corgi initially imposed a blanket ban on all private vehicles but altered the policy after it proved to be impractical.

It now stipulates that drivers using private vehicles for business use can only complete a 40-mile round trip.

'There is no compromise on this policy and vehicles have to meet set criteria to be considered, including 12-month services under manufacturers' guidelines. Drivers must have a valid driving licence and comply with the car user guide,' Caine said.

The group is also working on a number of initiatives this year including alcohol awareness training for all staff, schemes to reward drivers and occupational road risk assessments.

CORGI outlined initiatives that fleets need to consider when introducing a fleet risk strategy programme.

  • Company-wide support is vital
  • Introduce a car user guide setting out basis health and safety information
  • Have a clear policy on mobile phones
  • Enforce a policy for the maximum number of miles or length of time that an employee can drive for
  • Ensure all vehicles are fit for the job
  • Check licences
  • Introduce compulsory eye tests
  • Assess drivers
  • Introduce training
  • Keep car user guide up to date with new initiatives

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