Many companies ask employees to drive on the business’ behalf, but if you are a business owner you should be aware of the implications of someone driving on company business, even if it is only a one minute journey.
According to a special report supported by Road Safe, a partnership between the UK motor and transport industry’s leading companies, road safety specialists and the government; deaths caused by driving are the second biggest cause of mortality in the workplace. So, it is understandable that many car fleet management professionals throughout the UK are doing all they can to highlight the dangers to their driving colleagues.
That responsibility has become even more imperative following the passing of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, which leaves employers open to prosecution resulting in possible punitive fines and almost certain negative publicity for the organisation. Obviously safety at work has always been the most important concern for any business but recent legislation has also necessitated a change in the way vehicles are maintained and operated under health and safety rules.
For example, the Road Safety Act 2006 had implications for the car fleet industry as well as recent legislation that made using hand-held mobile phones at the wheel and smoking in work vehicles illegal. Add those legal obligations to the pressure to operate fleets that have a minimal impact on the environment and it is easy to see why having an astute professional fleet manager in situ is becoming desirable for businesses.
Although the organised world of car fleet management professionals has managed to incorporate this raft of legislation into their working procedures over the last few years, there may well be some smaller UK companies blissfully unaware of their legal obligations.
Of course, road safety experts as well as government organisations that specialise in advising small businesses are attempting to educate SME business owners about their driving at work responsibilities. However, some medium-sized enterprises or larger businesses operating a fair sized fleet may wish to consider appointing a specialist management company to help see them through their obligations and ensure that their fleet is operating not only within health and safety but also other legal guidelines.
In addition, experts in the field of fleet management could also help such companies implement best driving practices and suggest other changes that could reduce maintenance and fuel costs over the longer term; a valuable aid to better business in these times of uncertain fuel prices.