Duty of care for corporate fleet managers should be a fundamental point of knowledge to ensure company-owned or leased vehicles are correctly given to employees with health and safety and other policies in place. However, a worrying 33% of fleet managers have confirmed that they know little about their responsibilities.
Less than Half Are Confident
The research, carried out by alphabet (GB), also revealed other concerning statistics. 45% of the fleet managers considered themselves very knowledgeable about their duty of care, but that is still less than half. 81% conduct a regular driver risk policy review, but some businesses have no driver risk policy. 15% of those who did have a policy haven’t bothered to review it in over a year. It seems it isn’t seen as necessary when nothing could be further from the truth.
From a legal point of view, the business must be on top of workplace health and safety issues. This includes having correct procedures and policies regularly updated and educated to all employees at all times. Many seem to fail to realise that a company vehicle is considered a place of work for the employee and therefore has to be correctly taxed, insured, MOT and well maintained so that it can be declared fit for purpose. They also have a duty of care to ensure they reduce driver risks by checking driving licenses, providing training and carrying out regular risk assessments.
On-going Driver Training
It was reassuring that 88% of fleet managers were able to confirm that they offered driver training to their employees. Sadly 12% had more than six vehicles in their fleet but offered nothing in the way of driver training. 10% of those who provided training did so infrequently with over a year gap between sessions, meaning that new starters could easily wait too long before receiving any training.Another concern is that 8% of those surveyed did not bother to record any details of accidents using company vehicles. 16% did not record any details of accidents involving private cars being used for company work.
This Knowledge is Vital
Gavin Davies, General Manager, Customer Account Management at Alphabet, said: “If a business requires its employees to use vehicles for work, it’s critical fleet managers, drivers, and the broader organisation, to understand and mitigate the risks associated with occupational driving. Driver risk must be correctly managed to ensure duty of care, and legal obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Road Traffic Act 1988, and the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 are met. With this in mind, the company has created a driver risk essentials checklist so that fleet managers can feel in control and see how they measure up to what should be done. It gives them an easy reference to see where they need to make changes and improve current policies to ensure they comply with their duty of care to the fleet and private vehicles used for their business.