Fleet road safety – ignorance is not bliss

Grey fleet advice

From a health and safety perspective, a work place is not just a building it extends to the vehicle being driven for work too. Businesses therefore must have an effective policy covering their work-related road safety.

With a quarter of all road collisions involving someone driving for work, the responsibility is with employers to manage and reduce the risks of road traffic incidents for their employees.

“Health and safety managers and those responsible for fleet drivers, have admitted that their lack of knowledge about legal responsibilities for their staff who drive for work is a cause for concern, when they speak freely at fleet events and expos” said Adrian Hide, a senior consultant for TTC.

“A good place to start for health and safety managers, HR managers and fleet managers is to undertake fleet risk audit. The audit is a structured questionnaire that covers all aspects of managing business drivers and gives advice and feedback.

“There is usually 'a great response' from businesses both large and small when they are invited to take the free online audit."

Adrian added: “Fleet managers often ask how they can make compliance and managing work-related road safety part of daily work activities.

"We support employers to manage work-related road safety and meet their duty of care responsibilities. We are able to spend time with businesses conducting in-depth fleet audits, policy creation and management, and then arrange driving licence checks, driver risk profiling, elearning, in-house workshops, on-road driver training, and grey fleet management.

“A commonly occurring theme when meeting with delegates at conferences and expos is grey fleet. Some are aware of the need to manage grey fleet but don’t know where to start. Others are doing it to a certain extent but some just do not realise they actually have grey fleet drivers.”

Grey fleet is 'a grey area' for many businesses. Some managers revealed they only knew which staff were driving on their behalf when expense claims were submitted.

“The rule is simple. If you are driving at work, you are driving for work and grey fleet drivers must be treated in exactly the same way as company vehicle drivers,” said Adrian.

The law treats an individual using their own vehicle for work-related purposes the same as a company vehicle. Not knowing whether you have a fully compliant driver and vehicle is an area that poses the greatest risk in work-related road safety.

Employers must ensure that the personal vehicle being driven for work has a current road fund licence, MOT, be serviced and maintained to the manufacturer's recommendations and the driver has business class cover on their insurance.

One in 6 businesses do not carry out any safety checks at all for their grey fleet drivers, which is a "very worrying” statistic, said Adrian.

He also highlighted that more than one-fifth of drivers and 8% of vehicle owners use out-of-date documents, which means they are illegal to drive.

For more information visit our Grey Fleet Management page or call 03330 113 113 to speak to an expert.