The Produce Connection was fined £30,000 after one of its workers (not employed as a driver) died when his vehicle drifted into the path of a lorry. He had worked 76 hours in the previous four days and chronic fatigue is believed to have been a major factor.
Andy Leech, sales and marketing director at fleet software firm cfc solutions, said the case was a strong indicator that the Health and Safety Executive was taking the subject of working hours seriously.
He said: ‘Traditionally, driver hours has been a subject that fleets believe is mainly the preserve of companies that run HGVs, but this is rapidly changing. We are reaching a point where it is arguable that every fleet manager should monitor driver hours while this is still a suggested practice rather than a legal requirement.
‘The Produce Connection case is a further signal that the HSE is tightening up in this area. This kind of prosecution signals that employers have a wide ranging responsibility to stop fatigued drivers getting behind the wheel of vehicles, especially company ones.’
Cfc launched its own software solution to tackle the problem, the Driver Hours Module, earlier this year. It can be used either as a standalone product or in conjunction with cfc’s FleetPlus software package.