There are a number of laws and various legislation you need to comply with when managing drivers.
Let's start with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This act states that you need to assess the risk to your business, your fleet, to members of the public, and where possible you need to manage that risk.
Another legislation you need to be aware of is the Management of Health and Safety at Work Act 1999. This regulation was introduced to make sure businesses conduct risk assessments, identify potential hazards, and control any hazards.
An effective risk assessment should cover all aspects of managing risk. That includes the driver, the vehicle, and the journey.
It's important to remember that your work vehicles are an extension of your workplace and are your driver's main place of work.
You need to have watertight processes in place to ensure your drivers have the correct licence for the type of vehicle they’re driving.
How confident are you that you have watertight procedures in place to ensure that your drivers and vehicles are safe and legal?
Some of the key factors you should always consider are:
Driver experience - how much do you know about how experienced your drivers are?
Driver health - have you checked if your drivers have any of the 200+ underlying health conditions that need to be disclosed to the DVLA?
Fit-to-drive policies - do you have a daily declaration procedure to ensure your drivers are fit to drive?
Driver licences - are you checking your drivers’ licences regularly? Are you keeping a closer eye on high-risk drivers?
Assessing Driver Behaviour
Your drivers are your first line of defence to make sure your vehicles are safe and roadworthy, and to make sure they’re driven legally.
This is why it’s essential to have an effective driver's handbook. All of your dos and don’ts and driver best practices should be covered in it.
This is where robust record-keeping is essential. Your drivers should sign something to say they’ve read and understand the handbook.
You need to keep these records to prove, in the event of something going wrong, that you’ve taken all practical steps to ensure your drivers are safe and legal.
It's also crucial that you keep your handbooks and policies up to date with legislative changes.
In 2022 alone there have been several changes, most notably the introduction of Rule H1, also known as the “hierarchy rule”.
Driver training is crucial in driver safety and assessing risk within your fleet. Before letting anyone behind the wheel of one of your vehicles you need to be sure they're fit to drive.
You should conduct periodic driving assessments. This will enable you to spot changes in driver behaviours and identify high-risk drivers.
Monitoring telematics data will also give insights into driver behaviour, such as harsh braking, breaking the speed limit, and other erratic behaviours.
Training and assessing drivers on a regular basis will also have a positive impact on fuel spending and vehicle maintenance, making a noticeable difference in profitability.
If you’d like to find out more about FleetCheck or chat about how we can help and support you, please feel free to get in touch with a team member by using this form or calling our office on 01666 577928.