Fleet News

Training scheme for newspaper group

A NEWSPAPER group has launched a major risk management and driver training programme for hundreds of its company car and van drivers.

The move by Northcliffe Newspapers aims to tackle rising accident costs and the issue of duty of care for its employees. It has been launched by former Fleet News Fleet Manager of the Year Award winner Pat Millard, in conjunction with risk management specialist Peak Performance.

All levels of staff will take part in the scheme, which includes online risk assessments, risk awareness workshops and behind-the-wheel driver training. An initial assessment involving a cross-section of drivers has already been made and it is now being rolled out across the country.

Millard said: ‘We believe we have to risk-assess every ‘at-work’ driver from the board down to meet our duty of care to them.

‘We introduced a centralised fleet structure which allowed us to rationalise the duty of care approaches of all our centres into one common, unified strategy, and achieved buy-in at board level for funding and company-wide participation.’

The programme initially identifies motorists most at risk when driving on company business using existing data and Peak’s online RoadRISK assessment.

Northcliffe has about 1,000 drivers in 1.4 litre five-door cars of four different makes – Ford, Vauxhall, Peugeot and Volkswagen – which are mainly used by advertising, staff, photographers and journalists. The remainder of the drivers, from middle managers to directors, have an open-choice policy, while there are a further 200 staff who have opted to take cash instead of a company car.

Commenting on the risk programme, Millard said: ‘This is an on-going programme throughout the company which has no end date.’

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