Your driver safety policy
All fleet managers running a fleet know that an effective driver safety policy has to be put in place. Not only will it guide company vehicle drivers to safe practices and good driving habits, it protects the employer in terms of compliance. From The Health and Safety Executive;
“Employers have duties under health and safety law for on-the-road work activities. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act) states you must ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all employees while at work. You must also ensure that others are not put at risk by your work-related driving activities”
What’s included in a driver safety policy?
Drivers should be reminded of their duties to follow the rules of the road and the Highway Code.
The driver safety policy should lay out maximum driving times, and how long drivers should be behind the wheel before taking a break – also the length of the break. Enough time should be given for drivers to safely reach their destination.
Drivers should know where to report any health concerns that may impair their safety on the road, and also how to satisfy the Highway Code and DVLA eyesight and health requirements
Mobile Phone Use
It should be very clear in the driver safety policy that mobile phones should not be used when driving. This is illegal, and employers can also be held liable due to “causing or permitting” a hand-held mobile phone to be used when driving.
Many companies are now expanding upon this to include hands-free phone conversations. It should also be included in the policy that drivers should not access messages, text messages, social media, or email when behind the wheel.
Impaired judgement through tiredness, medicines, alcohol, or drugs
- Tiredness – include in your driver safety policy what is expected of drivers and what they should do if they become sleepy.
- Drink and drugs – it should be stated very clearly that drivers must not operate vehicles under the effects of any alcohol or drugs whatsoever. Include “morning after” advice too. If your company tests employees then this should be stated in your driver safety policy.
- Medicines – Drivers should be informed of the dangers of driving while taking certain medicines, and told to ask their GP regarding any medicines that they are prescribed
Safety of company vehicle
Drivers should know how to
- carry out safety checks on tyres, wheels, lights, seat belts, and other restraints
- use ABS properly
- use safety equipment on the road if they break down – triangles and hi-vis jackets
Risk Management for company fleets
How do you assess your company fleets for risk management?
“The HSE makes no distinction between a company’s duty of care towards an employee using tools and an employee driving a company vehicle. Fleet Managers must, by law, have a risk management process in place for all company vehicle drivers. How can Fleet Managers ensure that these obligations are met?”
The HSE has an updated Driving at Work Factsheet which gives up to date information for a driver safety policy. You can also appoint a fleet management company to ensure your vehicle running needs can all be met in one place.