By Fleet 21, featured in Co-Pilot, Volvo

Are you covering your duty of care?

If any of your staff drive for work, whether that’s regularly in a company vehicle, or occasionally using their own vehicle, employers have duty of care to minimise the risks. Driving for work is the most dangerous tasks most employees undertake – around four times as many people are killed driving on business as are killed in the workplace.

The Health and Safety at Work Act says that employers must minimise the risks both to their employees and to other people who may be affected by the employer’s work activities – in this case, other road users. The law doesn’t specify what precise actions must be taken – it simply says that employers should take whatever measures are ‘reasonably practicable’ to ensure any risks are as small as possible.

But what is reasonable? Nobody expects you to suddenly send all your drivers for advanced training costing hundreds of pounds a head and takes them out of the office for a day, but there are many things that can be done at little or no cost. Your task is to understand the risks and put a reasonable plan together to try and address them.

The key areas you should address are:

1. Driver policy – set some ground rules on the standards of behaviour expected of your drivers. Read more here

2. Driver and vehicle checks – make sure your drivers are all correctly licensed and that any using their own car understand the need for business insurance and good vehicle maintenance. Read more here

3. Driver education – poor driver awareness can cost a business lots of money in avoidable vehicle damage and high insurance so getting them to think more carefully about their driving can be beneficial. Read more here

4. Finally, communication – ensure your drivers understand that all of this applies to them and try to engage them positively in a stronger safe driving culture. Read more here

With a little knowledge and research, all of this can be accomplished in house at minimal cost however Fleet21 produces a pack of risk useful management tools to help you manage those who drive for work and educate them about the risks involved. This pack is also available free when you buy or lease the first new Volvo for your business. Click here for more details.