Driving for work - how can you drive the topic up the business agenda?
A three-step guide to ensuring your company fulfills its health and safety commitments
As a fleet professional, you know your organisation’s duty of care responsibilities for people who drive for work… but how do you get this important issue on your leadership team’s agenda?
First, ensure everyone understands your organisation’s responsibilities
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to take appropriate steps to ensure the health and safety of their employees and others who may be affected by their activities when at work.
“This includes the time when they are driving or riding at work, whether this is in a company or hired vehicle, or in the employee’s own vehicle.”
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires “the risk assessment to be reviewed periodically to ensure it remains valid. Employers should consider the risks to employees on the road in the same way as for those in a workplace.”
For clarity, health and safety law does not apply to drivers commuting to work; but many commuters are killed each year so a growing number of employers are looking at training them, too.
Second, identify the business risk and director responsibilities
One of the most high-profile ‘driving for work’ examples is Baldwins Crane Hire Limited which was convicted of corporate manslaughter and fined £700,000 plus costs in December 2015 after being found
guilty of corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences when one of its employees was killed while driving a company vehicle.
However, the real game changer has been the massive increase of health and safety fines since February 1, 2016. The courts now consider aspects such as culpability, seriousness, the likelihood of harm and the size of a business and its turnover when imposing fines.
Research by insurance and risk law specialists, BLM, says companies across the UK paid out more than £61 million in health and safety fines throughout 2016 – almost 2.5 times more than 2015.
An example includes Travis Perkins Trading who were fined £2m with costs of £115k when a customer died after being crushed by a company vehicle in company’s yard.
Your leadership team needs to understand that the financial risks of H&S fines are now very significant, let alone the reputational and brand risk that a serious incident might create.
In essence, H&S law places duties on organisations and employers, and directors can be personally liable when these duties are breached. Members of the board have both collective and individual responsibility for health and safety.
Finally, does training work and stack up financially?
Some companies take a tactical, ‘tick the box’ compliance approach while others see driving for work as strategic for their business where an investment in training delivers real and tangible business
savings. We recently analysed one of our customer’s pre- and post-training collision costs for high risk drivers.
Initial results found a 77% reduction in the number of collisions in the year posttraining, the cost for each went down 27% and an overall collision cost reduction of more than 80%.
Great training also improves fuel efficiency and lowers service, maintenance and repair (SMR) costs.
Driving for work in action..
DriveTech helps Compass Group gain a full overview of ‘at work’ driving community risk and compliance, via its online FleetRiskManager (FRM) portal.
Compass provides contract catering and support services in the UK and Ireland with more than 1,600 company car drivers and a significant number of drivers using their own vehicles for work. There is also a fleet of light commercial vehicles.
Compass is committed to delivering a superior service to customers and consistent duty of care to their ‘at work’ drivers.
Initially, DriveTech was asked by Compass’ Fleet Steering Group to undertake a fleet survey. This report helped Compass to understand its exposure to risk by examining its existing practices and procedures,
including all legal, duty of care, financial and operational issues. As a result, a fleet risk programme was implemented.
Using DriveTech’s online platform, FRM, Compass has the ability to influence its fleet driving culture by ensuring a suite of online resources are available to drivers. FRM supports and reinforces the company’s belief in risk management by also bringing company car and ‘cash-4-car’ drivers onto the same platform, including ad-hoc and grey fleet drivers.
This makes the overall risk position easier to understand and manage. A recent innovation from DriveTech, Driver Consent™, has enabled drivers to give online consent to have their driving licence
validated by the DVLA, removing the need for signed paper mandates.
This streamlines the driver and company process, considerably reducing the time taken to process a licence check. Compass benefited from the continuous professional support and guidance from DriveTech which has been helpful in extracting the maximum value from the services provided.
- A programme to cover all ‘at work’ drivers, including grey fleet, company car and light commercial vehicle (LCV) drivers
- A fleet risk survey to identify company exposure to risk
- Driving licence validation using Driver Consent™ to ensure legal drivers
- Online risk assessment and e-learning to identify driver risk and offer online training
- On-road, half-day training – coaching to improve driving decisions
- Access to online platform management system to manage driver community
- Advice, support, reviews and management information to provide insight
David Whittall, Director of HSE, ISO and Projects – Compass Group, UK & Ireland Ltd, said: “DriveTech really supports Compass’ Fleet Risk programme. We have a great strategic relationship with full involvement at all times. We’ve had great feedback from the drivers and it’s really good to see the FRM reduction in our driver’s risks with risk ratings lowering from red, through to amber, then green as they
complete their individual activities.”
- A clear, credible and objective risk survey detailing remedial actions
- Significant improvement in driver compliance throughout the business as well as ensuring consistent duty of care to employees
- Greatly reduced time and overhead costsfor processing a licence check for each driver, compared with paper mandates
- Relevant and appropriate driver training matching an individual driver’s needs
- Information is held on all ‘at work’ drivers in one place giving the company greater control and new insights
DriveTech is the world leader in fleet risk and safety management, and driver training. It is also the UK’s largest provider of driver offender retraining courses.