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April 22, 2020

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Road safety

‘Transport Toolkit’ launched for businesses and fleet operators to address clarity on driving for work during COVID-19 pandemic

A series of videos and online resources will help fleet operators and business owners meet the significant challenges presented by the current disruption caused by COVID-19.

Driving for Better Business, the government-backed Highways England programme to help employers reduce work-related road risk, has collaborated with its strategic partner, FleetCheck, to create an essential ‘Transport Toolkit’ of free online resources to help fleet operators and business owners navigate the unique challenges presented during the coronavirus pandemic.

The online resources will provide essential information and guidance whether that involves drivers working from home, furloughed drivers with mothballed vehicles or essential drivers operating at maximum capacity. The resources will share valuable insights and experience to help businesses successfully operate during these times, while continuing to meet more complex corporate responsibilities with regards to driver safety and welfare. At the same time the series will help with vital preparations for the eventual return to more usual operational levels.

As part of the ‘Transport Toolkit’ Driving for Better Business and FleetCheck unveil a series of videos to address key driving for work audiences affected by the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Essential Drivers – businesses operating at, or above maximum capacity. Highlighting the challenges around maintaining safety critical policies such as the management of driver fatigue as well as issues around driver recruitment, driver eligibility and sanitisation where multiple employees may be using the same vehicle;
  • Non-Essential Drivers – those who can now work from home or have been furloughed. Highlighting the issues related to an increase in lone working, mental health and financial challenges;
  • Business Continuity – maintaining customer relationships and keeping business as financially sound as possible. Looking at different ways of maintaining positive cashflow such as the Government’s job retention scheme, VAT deferral and supplier payment holidays, and the opportunity to focus on fleet efficiency to strip out unnecessary operational costs and return to work in a strong position;
  • Vehicle Maintenance – lack of engineers due to self-isolation and the closing of garages. Discussing the temporary suspension of MOTs and maintenance schedules, as well as the challenges of maintaining an operational fleet, managing mileage, and the implications of mothballing non-essential vehicles;
  • Fleet Admin & Housekeeping – importance of ensuring all staff follow established policies. Looking at the recent successful prosecution of a business for a fatal accident following its failure to follow its own fatigue management policies, as well as advice for those running a non-essential fleet to use this time to start developing stronger procedures that build additional efficiency and resilience into fleet management before returning to work;
  • Back to ‘Normal’ – what will ‘normal’ look like in the transport world? In this video, discussed are some of the key issues fleet and transport managers will have to address over the coming months, such as the extensive checks required before reinstating mothballed vehicles, important considerations when bringing back furloughed drivers, and why the backlog in vehicle maintenance will cause significant problems.

Simon Turner, Campaign Manager for Driving for Better Business, provided commentary on COVID-19, stating: “We have to remain positive, deal with the challenges we face as best we can, and prepare ourselves properly for a world which, in all probability, won’t look the same as it did before. It is vitally important to ensure employers have the correct information and guidance to successfully manage both their drivers and their vehicles in a time of considerable uncertainty. This is our contribution to supporting businesses around the UK that are vital to the UK economy.”

Peter Golding, Founder and Managing Director at FleetCheck, said: “We are a business that has always been very much about how best we can support our customers and that is truer than ever during a crisis event such as this. There are various ways in which we are looking at providing genuinely useful, new services for fleets but the COVID-19 Transport Toolkit is probably the most visible.

“Working in conjunction with Driving for Better Business, we’ve taken the subjects that are being raised most frequently by our customers and produced videos available to everyone that provide pertinent advice in a fast, easy to understand format. If there are other subjects that businesses want to see tackled, we urge them to get in touch with Driving for Better Business or FleetCheck and we will do our best to produce something that answers their need.”

Mr Turner added: “Our experience over recent weeks is that there is a thirst for clarity and knowledge among fleets that are facing what I believe we can all agree are unprecedented times. These challenges are being faced now and we needed to work fast so I congratulate our two teams who have taken this project from conception to launch in just a few days.”

“The videos should be a great help but our job isn’t done yet and there will be much more detailed guidance to come as we drill down, with a range of experts, into specific issues such as managing driver fatigue and the comprehensive pre-use vehicles checks that will be required before any mothballed vehicles are allowed back on the road – something that will be vital to ensure the safety of all road users.”

Last month, Driving for Better Business launched an online gap analysis tool, which allows safety professionals to identify areas in their driving for work policies and procedures that need improvement and fills the gaps to reduce risk, improve safety and enhance business performance.

Driving for Better Safety - Free eBook download

With employees who drive for business more likely to be killed at work than deep sea divers or coal miners, driver safety is a vital business consideration.

Download this eBook from Driving for Better Business and SHP to cover:

  • The danger of the roads;
  • Comparing road safety in the UK to the rest of Europe;
  • Decreasing risk: Avoiding accidents;
  • Road safety best practice;
  • What is fleet risk?
  • Managing work-related road safety.
Driver Safety eBook cover

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