Journalist, SHP Online

June 23, 2016

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Standing room only at ‘In the Dock’

in the dock1

The importance of robust fleet safety management was highlighted with an ‘in the dock’ style drama at Safety & Health Expo’s second day, demonstrating the sort of questions a company would be asked in court for a driving for work related incident.

There wasn’t a single empty seat in the courtroom/ theatre, where the case of an IT worker involved in a road traffic accident while driving for work, was played out.

Risks, hazards and controls

The company, represented by their operations manager, blamed the worker for failing to follow procedures, however the prosecution managed to find flaws in the management systems within the company.

The dramatized case highlighted some of the areas fleet managers need to consider for employees who drive for work. These included:

  • systems to check the competency of drivers
  • the difference in policies and procedures between those who have company cars and those who use their own cars
  • ensuring cars are maintained
  • ensuring cars have MOTs, where applicable
  • ensuring drivers have valid driving licences and understand their responsibility to update the company to any changes to their license
  • business insurance
  • ensuring workers are properly trained
  • ensuring employee understand what is expected of them
  • company’s driving policy
  • vehicle safety
  • route / journey planning
  • servicing history.

in the dock 2

Guilty

When questioned about the safeguards that were in place, the document checks, the audit trail and the missing paperwork, the operations manager was asked:

  • is your role demanding?
  • how long person been in role?
  • were checks undertaken? By who exactly?
  • why weren’t checks undertaken during employment?
  • what safeguards were in place to ensure staff informed management about changes?
  • were random audits ever undertaken?

After the company demonstrated poor safety management, a failure to monitor performance and a lack of effective management systems; the audience (or jury), unanimously declared a guilty verdict.

The aftermath

The room was then reminded of the damage a prosecution can have on a company, including:

  • large fines
  • damage to brand reputation
  • adverse publicity
  • difficulty being awarded future tenders
  • increased insurance premiums.

Visit the fleet safety theatre today for your last chance to hear more information about how to help keep your fleet safe.

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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