YOU hear a lot about your ‘Duty of Care’ in this series of articles.
Health and Safety legislation requires that employers show a Duty of Care towards their employed ‘at work’ drivers. That means that every employed driver needs to be assessed for ‘occupational road risk’.
How do you achieve this?
Many managers of small fleets think that it means paying large amounts of cash for all drivers to be assessed on the road. They’re unaware that this can now be done online too. But what works best and why?
Is on-road driver training the best way to get your drivers assessed, train them to be safer and therefore have fewer accidents? Err … no! That’s not the case these days and it’s also an expensive mistake to think this is the only way to lower accident causation and bring down ever spiralling fleet insurance costs and accident claim frequency.
Practical driver training has its merits but it has several drawbacks:
- Consistency – your assessments need to be consistent for all drivers, but that’s very difficult to achieve on the road since every trainer is different, and the assessment will be subject to different situations.
- Standards – while the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) checks all approved driving instructors (ADIs), there are no less than six grades of competence. And you thought they were all the same right? Wrong! And to be a Fleet Trainer, instructors need an additional qualification. So you may want to ask your training provides what grade your trainers have reached, and if this is supported with DSA Documentation.
- Cost – which is considerable for practical on-road training and in these tight economic times, every penny counts.
- Practicality – if you’re starting from scratch, it can be daunting to put all your drivers through an assessment and training programme during working hours.
The online alternative and how it works
Online assessments address all these issues. They are consistent, scalable, flexible and can be delivered cost effectively anywhere, and at any time.
Each of your at work drivers gets the same assessment, the same e-learning resources, and the same set of training modules. Drivers will get a risk profile followed by targeted training to address any problems which can be purely online, or a combination of in-car and online instruction.
Administratively, the online elements form an excellent Audit Trail for each participant – a vital cog in the Health and Safety, Duty of Care and Corporate Manslaughter compliance chain.
For many small businesses, the cost and scale of the task of driver assessment and training seems so prohibitive that they don’t bother – and just take the risk!
But non-compliance isn’t an option. You must show a Duty of Care to your employed drivers, and if anything goes wrong, you must be able to demonstrate that you have done so.
Compliance and mitigation are two factors you need to ensure are part of your fleet management strategies, irrespective of whether you are a small company (with more than five employed drivers) or a huge multi-national organisation.
Online driver assessments and training make them accessible for every business whilst gaining the elusive Safety Audit Trail.
A Duty of Care to your drivers and to your balance sheet!