Callout 2 Callout 2
|Hazard||Possible Management Actions|
|Drivers not properly or fully licensed||Regular licence checks, and signed declarations that employees will report driving prosecutions|
|Drivers not experienced enough to cope with powerful cars||Restricted allocation entitlements for young/inexperienced drivers; mandatory driver training appropriate to the need for control. Induction walk-through for all new car hand-overs.|
|Casual approach to driving, building up a poor accident history||Regular review of ALL damage/ injury incidents: collating to assess patterns of failures: consider appropriate driver training: in extreme cases suspend high-risk employee from driving duties.|
|Lone/ vulnerable driver risks||Careful review of all drivers/ journey patterns to minimise time at risk in remote/ isolated/ high-risk situations; issue of mobile phone (with reminder about regulations on use!); selection of vehicles with good security features.|
|Drivers becoming fatigued from extensive driving||Review work schedules: impose break periods on longer journeys; adequate route planning.|
|Driving while under influence of drink or drugs||Strict policy on avoiding alcohol and all form of drug (including many over-the-counter medications) when driving for work is likely.|
|Using a mobile phone||Clear statement that using a hand-held phone is illegal: discouraging use of even hands-free calls.|
|Getting lost||Route planning; standard fitting of a Satellite Navigation system.|
|Driving without insurance||Regular checks with fleet insurer: requirement to scrutinise any private policy for employees' own cars.|
|Breakdown on the road||Adequate maintenance arrangements and possible provision of roadside assistance scheme.|
|Hazardous/ Dangerous loads||Full consideration of loading/ unloading; load security; spillage risks/ cleanup measures etc.|
These points are for illustration only. They identify many of the general points that should be considered - but every fleet should use something like this as a starting-point for its own risk assessment process.
The outcome of the risk assessment will be a schedule of the risks, with a priority rating. True success in minimising the risks of prosecution or claim is in how the identified risks are managed out (or down) and the frequency of review. A process which looks as if it was designed only to tick the box that says "done fleet risk" will be no defence at all!
As well as helping to protect all employees and improve overall road safety levels, a driver management background like this will reduce the likelihood of potential prosecution of the company or organisation - and will also significantly reduce the likelihood of a major civil claim for damages, if the company can demonstrate a consistent and fair approach to high standards of driving, driver and vehicle control.
This is much more than just a "we must put all our employees through a driver training course" approach. Driver training is obviously one important aspect of a Health & Safety policy in a fleet, but any course provided must be relevant to the requirements, as identified in the risk assessment. Being let loose on a skid-pan in a specially-adapted car, under expert supervision can be great fun - but hardly relevant in a fleet where 65% of all the damage claims are for rear-end damage to the cars caused by poor parking performance. Full hazard consideration/ risk assessment/risk management says that the concrete bollard that the driver didn't see last week could, quite easily, be a child that isn't seen next week! So a course dedicated to slow-speed manoeuvring/ parking techniques might be what is indicated. It all depends on the risk profile as identified from the risk assessment!