Your Duty of Care to employees extends from the workplace to include the vehicle when it is being used on company business. Essentially the car or van is a ‘place of work’.
Duty of Care
With this in mind, it is important to manage your company cars – as well as those grey fleet vehicles – with the same regard as you would for the Health & Safety of employees at your work location.
The two key laws governing your fleet management of drivers are The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Corporate Manslaughter Act. Which means responsibility rests with the company and the company directors.
So what should you be doing?
Your fleet care arrangements should include an assessment of the risks drivers face on the road. This may vary depending on the work they are required to do.
There should be assessment of fitness to drive, including suitability to drive a company vehicle, driver licence checking, understanding fleet policy, driver training and fatigue management.
For private vehicles driven on business all of the above is relevant. Plus such areas as vehicle roadworthiness and ensuring appropriate insurance is in place for work-related business mileage.
Continuous monitoring and assessment should be integral to your duty of care plan, so that driver training can be introduced where necessary. For example, are some drivers regularly speeding or driving uneconomically? How do you monitor this? What is the audit trail to show that you are actively managing your Health & Safety at work? All these areas require proper management.
Other areas of duty of care to consider are:
- Do your drivers carry out routine safety checks to lights, tyres and so on?
- Are drivers aware of the vehicle’s safety features and how to adjust items correctly, such as head restraints and belt restraints?
- Are your drivers aware that they must not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
- What is your fleet policy on taking phone calls while driving?
- CBVC Driver Apps are available and cover many of these management issues
These, then, are just some of the sample areas that you need to consider to safely manage your vehicle fleet. There is further guidance from the Health & Safety Executive at Driving at work: Managing work-related road safety, which you can view online or download as a pdf.
CBVC Vehicle Management has extensive experience in managing fleets to ensure your Duty of Care is fully operational including full audit trail.
If you would like to know more about managing duty of care, please call CBVC Vehicle Management on 01283 351200.