A guide to grey fleet corporate responsibilities
Regardless of how many vehicles are included in a fleet, there are several aspects of responsibility that fall on businesses and fleet managers, especially when it comes to the safety of their drivers.
However, these responsibilities don’t just apply to the vehicle maintenance, they also apply to the on-going safety training of everyone in the fleet. This month we want to explore some of the high-level responsibilities that fleets have for their corporate fleets.
Maintaining Driver and Vehicle Documentation
For businesses and fleet managers to adhere to all duty of care requirements, they need to ensure that they have all the documentation recorded on file within their organisation.
This is especially true when it comes to larger fleets since there will be vehicles of different ages and drivers with different levels of experience. This data should be recorded and stored in a database system since this gives the fleet manager access to information in a quick, efficient manner. It also helps to complete audits should the need ever arise.
Vehicle records should include:
- The make and model of the vehicle
- The fuel type and engine size
- Emissions records
- Vehicle ownership records
Driver records should include:
- A copy of their drivers licence
- Insurance certificates (including business use policies)
- MOT certificates
- Registration documents
- Road tax documents for auditing purposes
Duty of care and Health and Safety
Over the last few years, the amount of legislation that surrounds fleet risk operations has grown substantially. These legislations range from the Health and Safety at Work etc Act and the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act.
When it comes to the duty of care that surrounds these legislations, it’s no longer enough to ensure that drivers have a valid MOT and driving licence. Fleet managers now need to introduce set specific procedures in place, including:
- Risk management policies
- Ensure vehicle checks are conducted on a regular basis
- Monitor driver behaviour
- Manage total driving hours
One of the other responsibilities that fall to fleet managers and businesses is to communicate their policies with new and existing employees. This is especially true when it comes to a grey fleet since these are the personal cars used for business journeys.
This communication means that both employees and management are able to understand their responsibilities and learn how to meet them in the most efficient way.
Where possible, the fleet manager and the business should compile a central document, namely a fleet policy declaration, since this will help to communicate the policy in a formal manner. Drivers could be asked to sign this declaration since it provides evidence that the drivers have been made aware of their responsibilities.
The practical considerations
Even if an organisation already has a driving at work policy set in place, there are basic considerations that need to be considered before employees are allowed to drive for work purposes. These include:
- Should be fully capable and competent of completing work in a way that doesn’t put themselves or others at risk
- Should be properly trained
- Should be sufficiently healthy and safe to drive
- Should be given all possible information to reduce risk
- Should be given practical advice on correct driving posture
- Should be fit for purpose, road legal and suitable to the task required
- Maintained and serviced to the highest possible standards
- Should take into account the safest routes
- Take into consideration realistic daily working schedules
- Not put drivers at risk of fatigue
- Not put drivers at risk if there are adverse weather conditions
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has compiled a fact sheet, along with a checklist, the help manage work-related road safety. You can read this document in full here.
So there we have it, a guide on the responsibilities that businesses and fleet managers have with regards to their company drivers and vehicles. Are there any aspects that you think we’ve missed? What have your experiences been?
Remember, if you’re looking to expand your fleet or you need any further advice on vehicle rental for businesses, then our team are here to help. Get in touch with them today to discuss your exact requirements; they’re more than happy to help.