Fleets felt that one of their biggest challenges was to improve safety. The two biggest issues were educating drivers and creating a culture within the company that promotes safety and gets buy-in at board level.
The following is a summary of those concerns plus some solutions suggested by a variety of van and car fleets in both public and private sectors.
- It’s an issue when the agenda is different at board level – it often comes down to money.
- You have to engage with legal and health and safety. Get them onside and legal can make the business case while health and safety and build the case from a staff and personnel point of view. They can influence the board.
- Report what you are doing about risk and accidents via the health and safety committee. Put real figures behind the benefits.
- The key is to tackle line managers. Create a culture where people feel comfortable being open about safety and discussing it.
- Drivers do not see themselves as professional drivers so hold safety briefings with toolbox talks. Embrace technology, e.g. video clips, to get information out to a large community. You have to be repetitive without being boring to get the message out.
- Another lever is to showcase what other companies are doing in your industry. It adds weight to your argument. Be bold and build relationships with other fleet managers – they are usually willing to share their information and advice.
- Culture starts on day one with the induction for new employees.
- Emphasise that it’s the company which is protecting the employees and also ensure they understand the company’s expectations of them and how you can help them to do their job better.
- You don’t have to enforce change if you have the right culture. But it has to be top down; not one rule for staff and another for the board.
Outside of safety, fleets identified three other challenges for 2018.
1) Cars – new taxation and the poor charging infrastructure & inefficiency of PHEVs. One FM runs an eco-fleet and isn’t getting any clarification from HMRC on benefit in kind rules for charging at work.
2) Drivers – behaviour, speeding. Incentive schemes, training (including virtual reality) and better planning of jobs were all discussed as solutions. Also using systems to pre-empt lateness.
3) GDPR – this will affect licence checking, telematics, connected cars and will pose a huge issue for all fleet managers.