As an employer, you should already have taken steps to safeguard any of your employees who regularly use company cars or other types of vehicle for work purposes. It is your duty to do so because if your employee is involved in an accident, it is you who could be held responsible. Your business might then suffer financially because of legal proceedings and insurance costs, and your reputation might also be badly affected. Of course, you will also have to live with the knowledge that you should have done more to protect your driver and other road users.
So, what should you do?
You do as you would do within every other aspect of your business, and concentrate on health and safety. This includes the following.
- Ensure your drivers have sufficient training behind them
Of course, you need to check your employee’s driving license before they get into a company vehicle. If they haven’t passed their driving test, then you obviously shouldn’t let them out on the roads. Still, assuming they are qualified, you might also consider sending them on an advanced drivers course, and you might work with fleet risk management to help you assess if any other training is required. And if your employees are working with vehicles unfamiliar to them, such as construction vehicles and HGV’s, then you need to find the appropriate training for them, so they are able to work safely.
- Regularly maintain your vehicles
Despite the expense, you should get your vehicles serviced regularly. If there are any faults, steps can be taken before the state of the vehicle gets any worse, and this will safeguard both your company finances and your employee’s safety on the roads. You should also make it a policy that drivers report any concerns they have with the vehicle they are driving, and that should they be involved in an accident, no matter how minor, that they should inform you so that any damage can be properly assessed.
- Fit the vehicle with safety aids
Again, there will be an expense if your vehicles don’t have safety aids fitted as standard, but as the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry! As seen in the linked article, safety aids go beyond airbags and safety belts, as with such things as blind spot detection cameras and automatic braking features, you can do more to secure the safety of your drivers and other road users.
- Use your common sense
Don’t be directly responsible for putting your employer at risk. If you call them while they’re driving, regardless of any hands-free system you have fitted in your vehicle, you might distract them while driving. If you allow them to drive after doing a long shift, you might put them at risk of an accident because of tiredness. And if you ask them to drive in hazardous conditions, well… you don’t need us to tell you how dangerous this could be! Be sensible then, because your employee’s life depends on it.
Thanks for reading!