Even the most senior-ranking management must be ordered to toe the line when it comes to access to vehicles and attitudes to safety, if they are driving on business in any vehicle.
Delegates attending a duty of care seminar were given an outline of the fleet decision-maker’s role that will ensure companies meet their duty of care obligations to at-work drivers.
Professor Peter Cooke, of Automotive Industries Management at Nottingham Business School, told delegates: ‘You may check driving licences but do you check these people? Do you let them go off and drive in a 3.0-litre car or do you put them through driving instruction?
‘Are senior people in your organisation good drivers or lucky drivers? Look at the people in your organisation who have powerful cars. Be prepared to make yourself a bit unpopular.’
On the issue of driving licence checking, Cooke said this should be performed as part of the job application process – before an applicant is given a contract.
He told delegates he knew of one case when a field sales staff member given a new job assumed the company would now fund his driving lessons as he had not yet passed his test.
Cooke added: ‘Licences should be checked every three months – and make sure you check the original, both the paper and plastic sections. Also, if other family members use the car, check their licences at least twice a year.’
Cooke suggests that using the services of an external contractor such as the AA or RAC could eliminate any embarrassment associated with having to ask the company’s managing director for a copy of his or her driving licence.
Companies showing a commitment to staff safety could also find they attract the best employees, Cooke claimed. He added: ‘People nowadays are not just looking for salary, they’re looking for the whole package, including a company’s duty of care.’
Cooke warned last week that too many boardrooms were still failing to take company fleets seriously and consider them a boardroom issue (Fleet NewsNet, May 5, 2005).
This was despite predictions that authorities will target at least one major company under new corporate manslaughter laws within the next 12 months.
The advice and information, along with the tables below, was given by Cooke at a seminar called ‘Duty of Care and the Fleet Executive: Status and Expectations’, sponsored by ATS Euromaster and Michelin.
Measurements for risk management/road safety
Establishing a climate for risk management policy
Key board actions for driving safety
Duty of care