If you’re a business owner and responsible for a fleet, the safety of your employees couldn’t be more important. In fact, you have a legal obligation to ensure they’re as safe as possible when driving for work.
Your business vehicles are classified as workplaces under the Health and Safety at Work Act so you can understand the importance of ensuring everything is in place. This can be a daunting prospect, so we’re here to give you a helping hand.
- Business breakdown cover
Great quality business breakdown cover from a reputable brand, such as the RAC, is essential when managing a fleet of vehicles. Drivers should feel like they have somewhere to turn when out on the road and if an issue should arise. A bespoke, business breakdown policy is the best step forward, offering a safety net for everything from a flat tyre to an engine failure. Ensure drivers are aware of where to call and who to notify in the unfortunate event of a breakdown.
- Risk assessments
This point is quite self-explanatory, but being a business responsible for a fleet is full of risk – so you must ensure you conduct full, regular risk assessments. These should identify what procedures need to be put in place and the training that must be carried out to minimise risk.
- Driver checks and training
As part of the aforementioned company policy, you should have also included details of regular driver checks and training. The importance of safety cannot be highlighted enough and this is an integral part of that. Include licence checks, medical assessments and remind your employees of the company policy.
- Health and safety
Sensing a theme? Your employees need to be provided with a safe and appropriate working environment and therefore the vehicles they are driving need to be regularly maintained. This ensures they are roadworthy and safe, it minimises potential liabilities and maximises your all-important business performance.
- Pre-drive checklists
Ensure you include a pre-drive checklist within the company policy. This should involve details of how often drivers themselves should be responsible for smaller performance checks of the vehicle such as oil and tyre checks. Not only this but include items that should be kept in the car in case of an emergency; such as bottles of water, jump-start cables and a torch. Don’t forget a fluorescent jacket and warning triangle to keep close to hand in the event of a breakdown.
- Mobile phone protocol
Mobile phone use is part of the ‘fatal four’ which make up the four biggest dangers while driving. It’s therefore so important to enforce a strict mobile phones policy. Not only is driver use of mobile phones a huge danger to life, but the penalties have also become greater. Provide an alternative for your employees and have a safe means of communication, be it a radio system or hands-free calling.
- Fuel management
Prepaid fuel cards are a great idea for your business. This helps you better prepare your finances as you’ll be able to use costs to predict how much fuel is needed for each month and it also monitors how much fuel your drivers are using.
- Accident procedures
Unfortunately, accidents happen and this is something you need to prepare for. Set out your procedure and stick to it. Hold a meeting with the driver as soon as possible after the incident to identify causes. You can then establish what training can be held to minimise the risk of accidents in the future.
With these best practices in place, your fleet is covered and protected from any issues that may arise. Implement these today and enjoy a safer, more efficient way of working that benefits everyone involved.