Responsibilities as a fleet operator

Walkaround Check
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Do You Know your responsibilities as a fleet operator  for Driving for Work?

If you answer Yes to any of the below then you have a responsibility to implement a Driving for Work Policy

  • Provide staff with vehicles (including powered two wheelers) to drive for work, 
  • Provide staff with bicycles to use for work, 
  • Self-employed people who drive vehicles or ride motorcycles or bicycles for work,
  • Employees who drive their own vehicle for work.

Driving for work involves a risk not only for drivers, but also for fellow workers and members of the public such as pedestrians and other road users who share the road space. People who drive for work have a higher collision rate than the general driving population, even after their higher mileages are taken into account. As an employer or self-employed person, you have a legal duty to manage the risks that employees face (and create for others) when they drive for work. Businesses, employees and the community all benefit from safe driving for work. You should have systems in place to make sure that employees comply with your driving for work policies. Employers cannot directly control road or weather conditions, but they can influence the way their employees act and behave on the road. What the law requires Health and Safety law applies to driving for work in the same way as for all work activities. As an employer, you should have a safety management system in place for managing all work related risks. Driving for work risks should be managed as part of this system. 

 You must also make sure your employees are: 

  • Legally entitled to drive the vehicle they are using, 
  • Using a vehicle that is safe and roadworthy, 
  • Trained, competent and fit to drive their vehicle safely, 
  • Using their vehicle safely

While drivers are responsible for how they drive, you are responsible for putting procedures in place that make sure your employees drive for work safely at all times. The laws that require safe driving for work in Ireland include:

  • Road Traffic Acts and associated regulations: relating to vehicles, driver licensing, driving offences, insurance, rules of the road and speed limits; 
  • Road Transport Acts and associated regulations: relating to road haulage and road passenger transport operations, transport managers professional driver hours; 
  • European Communities (Road Transport) (Organisation of Working Time of Persons Performing Mobile Road Transport Activities) Regulations 2012: relating to working time of mobile road transport workers 
  • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and associated regulations: relating to work activities, workplaces, work equipment and worker protection. These laws are not just there to protect people, they are also good for business. 

Complying with these legal requirements will help you achieve:

  • Reduction in road collisions,
  • Fewer employee injuries,
  • Less absenteeism, 
  • Lower maintenance costs,
  • Lower vehicle repair costs,
  • Lower insurance premiums,
  • Improved compliance with legislation, 
  • Lower fuel costs

A Safe Systems approach to managing driving for work Your business has a legal duty to manage health and safety at work. This is a wide-ranging requirement: it should be part of the everyday work process and part of good management generally.

First, you should look at your current health and safety procedures. Do they cover your responsibilities as an employer for driving for work? Remember, you need to have a suitable driving for work management programme as part of your overall system for managing health and safety at work in your business.

There are five key steps that you should include in your programme for managing driving for work:

  1. Develop a driving for work policy. 
  2. Risk assess driving for work hazards. 
  3. Put safe systems into practice. 
  4. Measure safety performance. 
  5. Review safety performance.

More Driving For Work Information

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