Fleet Safety Training in the Gig Economy

Written by John

On October 16, 2020
fleet drivers

With the rise of part time work and zero-hour contracts, the ‘gig economy’ has had an increase over the last number of years. During the past year, managing fleet services during COVID has had an impact because affording full time workers has become increasingly difficult with the falling economy. This can present new challenges for our fleets and make fleet safety training even more vital. So, what does this gig economy mean for the fleet risk manager and those outside our work place?

Fleet Safety Training in a Gig Economy

A fleet risk manager who has regular and permanent drivers will still need to consider and mitigate risk associated with the gig economy.

Some potential hazards for your fleet safety training consideration:

  • 40% of gig drivers are saying in-vehicle technology and apps are distracting them whilst driving or riding.
  • Drivers being put under pressure leads to poor driving such as speeding and going through red lights.
  • There is a lack of fleet safety training, apart from the process-based training of the role of the job. Fleet services during COVID may have found additional difficulties with fleet safety training due to the lack of face-to-face contact.

This highlights that the gig workers out on the roads are more at risk of distractions and less safe on the roads. This reliance on in-vehicle technology, app-based systems, and pressures put on drivers are increasing the dangers on the roads. We all have a duty of care on the roads, we all use them, what can a fleet risk manager do to reduce risk and protect their drivers with proper fleet safety training, especially for fleet services during COVID.

What Can a Fleet Risk Manager Do for Fleet Safety Training

An important first step is a good robust fleet policy given to every driver. They should also be asked to sign to say they have read it. This should include information on drivers’ hours, fatigue policy, use of mobile phones, in-vehicle apps and devices, and also what you require in the standard of driving to name just a few things that could be included. A fleet risk manager should refrain from phoning drivers whilst they are driving and have a system that instructs their drivers to check in when they arrive on location.

Adequate fleet safety training and development should be provided by a fleet risk manager to ensure they can safely anticipate and observe hazards whilst driving. These skills in driving are fundamental to keeping drivers safe and are in line with advance driving techniques for proper fleet safety training. This will enable drivers to deal with the hazards they face whilst driving for work and dealing with the tight deadlines set by some companies.

The risks to drivers not having this are serious. Drivers that work under pressure, tight time limits, covering high mileage, over long shifts, have a large risk of them becoming stressed and fatigued. Becoming more of a risk on the roads, this also includes grey fleet drivers too.

Improving Fleet Safety Training in Your Business

Here are some points to help improve safety across all the drivers within your business, even self-employed drivers.

  • Allow drivers to sign up to block times, such as shift patterns 8-4, 9-5, and not be paid on a drop rate.
  • Use technology that has a stationary button on the app to highlight to the fleet risk manager the driver is not driving and able to take a call.
  • Provide all drivers with safety equipment, such as high vis jackets, steel toe-capped shoes/boots.
  • Ensure all drivers have had proper fleet safety training, especially if they have started working for fleet services during COVID. Managing fleet services during COVID may have introduced new safety precautions that a fleet risk manager must ensure are well-known in their team.

These are small changes that may drastically help the driver and help them become more developed in their fleet safety training when driving for work. These measures may also be greatly received by worker. Having higher standards within a fleet risk manager role will go a long way to improving safety on the roads.

The gig economy has resulted in an increase of a number of business drivers on the roads, but little in regards to the level of fleet safety training. A fleet risk manager needs to be more realistic about the hazards their drivers are now facing on the roads and ensure that their drivers are ready to handle that. Within the gig economy, a fleet risk manager should be striving to increase fleet safety training and other safety measures for their drivers. Gig drivers should be managed as if they were grey fleet within your company.

The Benefits of This Are:

  • Fewer distracted drivers.
  • Fewer drivers feeling stress and pressure resulting in better driving behaviour and less erratic driving.
  • Safer roads for everyone.
  • Better customer experience.
  • More productive drivers.

If you need more advice on how to provide proper fleet safety training for your team, get in touch. We want to help ensure that a fleet risk manager knows all the ways to keep their team safe.

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