Fleet driving is driving for work. If you own a business and you have staff that need to drive for work you can do this in one of two ways:
1. Hire a car or van, depending on what is needed for the job. (Known as a fleet driver).
2. Ask the employee if they will use their own vehicle (Known as a Grey Fleet driver).
Whichever way you choose to do this, you have a duty of care to the employee to ensure that you have eliminated all risk of harm to them and others. This includes yourself if you are driving for your business. You may find that if you have many drivers requiring vehicles that it would be best for your company to hire a vehicle for them to use. To eliminate the risk, you need do a few things. Under the health and safety guidelines, anyone using machinery for work should be risk assessed and trained, this includes fleet driving for work.
Safety Checks for Fleet Driving
You need to do a number of things, they are:
• Check Driving Licences of all staff driving the vehicles, including their own vehicle
• Check or provide insurance for staff driving vehicles
• Have a record of servicing and MOT’s
• Have a policy and driver handbook in place
• Enforce daily vehicle safety check
• Have a fleet driver and mileage log book if a pool car
• Have a maintenance log book
• Risk assess the drivers and give fleet driver training
• Maintain records and keep up to date via a fleet management system
What Is Fleet Driver Training?
Fleet driver training is a very vital part of a fleet management programme. The goal from the
training is to eliminate or reduce risks encountered by company drivers. This aims to lower fleet costs by reducing accidents, fuel costs and insurance premiums. Your drivers are out there representing your company on the road so creating a positive corporate image is and should be important to you. By doing this you comply with your duty of care and the Health and Safety Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide act 2007.
What Is Your “Duty of Care”?
If your company employs fleet drivers, or has employees who regularly drive as part of their job role, then your business has serious corporate responsibilities. Your company has a “duty of care” to your employees and this extends to ALL drivers of company vehicles or driving their own vehicle on behalf of the business.
What Will Happen If Duty of Care Is Neglected?
The following case studies highlight the consequences of company failings in their duty of
The boss of a haulage firm was jailed for manslaughter. Martin Graves, company manager of
Felixstowe-based MJ Graves International, was jailed for 4 years after a man was killed in a
crash caused by one of his drivers, (Driver) Victor Coates.
The conviction, for manslaughter, was due to failing to prevent his drivers from working
excessive hours. A truck driven by Victor Coates hit a car that had broken down on the A12
in December 1999, killing 24-year-old Lee Fitt, from Colchester, Essex.
Basildon Crown Court heard that at the time of the collision. Coates had been working for
about 20 hours and had little time for quality sleep. Coates was also jailed for four years for
causing death by dangerous driving.
Nightfreight (Great Britain) Ltd was fined £150,000 over the death of a driver crushed by a truck at the firm’s premises in Willenhall. Neil Prestage, 48, of Southwell, Notts, worked for another company but was visiting Nightfreight when the incident happened in 2002.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) brought the case to court, where Nightfreight admitted
breaching health and safety legislation. The firm was ordered by Wolverhampton Crown
Court to pay the fine, with costs of £91,000. Speaking after the case, the HSE said the death
of Mr Prestage was the “tragic result of a failure to manage workplace transport” at the site.