Duty of care

Health And Safety Policy

Guide To Building A Sound Health And Safety Policy

Introduction

This guide is meant to be used as a basis for building a sound health and safety policy for company vehicles. It not a bible or the whole answer but it should provide a starting point for anyone who runs company cars to help and protect the company, its officers and employees to stay within the law and avoid claims of negligence. By adopting good practice, we can all reduce accidents and save lives.

We suggest you keep both an electronic copy and a written copy in a binder, which you can then add to, as you build your own individual Health and Safety policy for company vehicles. As each one will be different not everything in the guide will apply to you.

( Insert Your Company Name And Logo)

Health & Safety – Company Vehicles

Building A Sound Health And Safety Policy For Company Vehicles

Contents:

  1. Effective Risk Management – A Safety Check
  2. The Company’s Duty of Care – The Government Approach
  3. The Company’s Duty of Care – Preventing Accidents
  4. The Company’s Duty of Care – Safe Cars

1. Effective Risk Management – A Safety Check

General Safety Policy

a) What does your General Health and Safety Policy say about Road Safety?
b) Do you have a written Road Safety policy?

Pre-Employment

a) Do all applicants complete an application form for employment?
b) Does it ask about driving licences and driving history?
c) Do you take a copy of the applicant’s driving licence?
d) Do you require applicants to take any form of pre-employment driving assessment?

Verification

a) Do you accept the submitted licence at face value?
b) Do you take up references with previous employers including applicants’ driving history?
c) Do you inspect the original driving licence or will you accept photocopies in lieu?

Health Check

a) Do you check all drivers’ eyesight?
b) Do you check on alcohol/substance abuse?
c) Do you ask employees if they suffer from ‘’a DVLA notifiable condition’’?

Induction

a) What documents relating to road/vehicle/general safety are issued at induction?
b) Is there a formal explanation of the following?

 Road Safety Policy
Discipline Code
Vehicle Check Requirements
Accident Claim Procedures

 c) Do you conduct any form of driving assessment or training as part of the induction process?

Driver Training

a) Do you have a formal driver training in place?
b) What is the nature of the training, eg? Classroom and/or practical?
c) What training exists for non-employees, eg. spouse, partner, sibling, agency?
d) Do you conduct remedial training for accident repeaters?

Vehicle Check

a) Is there a formal policy for routine vehicle checks?
b) Is this process applied to every vehicle irrespective of personal status, function, and/or vehicle type, including privately owned vehicles used on company business?

Appraisal

a) Do you operate a formal appraisal process?
b) Do Road Safety & driving performance form part of the appraisal process?
c) Do you check driving licences, safety/crash record (historic), related cost analysis, vehicle check outcomes, and vehicle cost outcomes?

2. The Company’s Duty Of Care – The Government Approach

This is the Government’s five-step approach to risk assessment in this area:

a) Companies should encourage their fleet drivers to consider and report on the type of hazards that may result in harm when driving on public roads. A company risk assessment should review issues surrounding the driver, vehicle and journeys undertaken. This step may involve checking the competence of company car drivers and ensuring their roadworthiness of vehicles.
b) Consider who might be harmed.
c) Evaluate the risk and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or more should be done.
d) Record your findings.
e) Review your assessment and revise it if necessary.

3. The Company’s Duty Of Care – Preventing Accidents

Action Plan

a) Make sure you don’t put young inexperienced driver at the wheel of a powerful car without adequate training.
b) Consider encouraging a safe driving policy through driver training.
c) Only allow private vehicles to be used on company business if the vehicle is correctly insured and in a good state of repair.
d) Consider an action plan to provide help to less experienced drivers and drivers with a poor accident record.
e) Remember that if your drivers have a collision in a three year period, they are twice as likely to have another collision in the next three years.
f) Drivers returning to their car after an accident need help and support and some form of training is helpful in getting their confidence back.
g) Van drivers should be put through a vehicle familiarity exercise before being given the keys to the vehicle as they are often operating in very tough driving conditions.

4. The Company’s Duty Of Care – Safe Cars

Action Plan

a) Compile a list of safety features each car should have as standard before it is put on the company choice list.
b) Where drivers have to carry specific equipment as part of their job, ensure their car can accommodate them safely and securely.
c) Use Euro NCAP crash tests to help establish the safety of specific makes and models of car.
d) Drivers are 17 times more likely to suffer a serious head injury from a side impact than any other form of collision so take side airbags just as seriously as front airbags when specifying standard safety features.