I am proud to have gained accreditation and entry to the Government's register of Fleet Driver Trainers. This means I have undergone training to reach this extremely high standard of proficiency. This is your assurance of receiving quality training from someone able to operate professionally at a higher level.
Why corporate Driver Training?
It has been estimated that up to a third of all road traffic accidents involve somebody who is driving for work at the time. This may account for over 20 fatalities and 250 serious injuries every week (i.e. over 1,000 per year).
Some employers believe, that provided they comply with certain road traffic law requirements, e.g. company vehicles have a valid MOT certificate, and that drivers hold a valid licence, this is enough to ensure the safety of their employees, and others, when they are on the road. However, health and safety law applies to on-the-road work activities as well as to all other work activities, and the risks should be effectively managed within a health and safety management system.
The above is extracted from Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Department for Transport (DfT) guidance notes “Driving at Work”. Employers also have a duty of care to ensure that they take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of their employees and all that come into contact with them in their daily work representing their company.
Employer’s duty of care of employees driving at work
A brief summary of the relevant legislation is shown below.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
This act requires you to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all employees while at work. You also have a responsibility to ensure that others (non-employees) are not put at risk by your work related activities. Driving while at work in such an activity.
Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Under these additional regulations you have a responsibility to manage health and safety effectively. You need to carry out an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of your employees, while they are at work, and to other people who may be affected by their work activities. The Regulations require you to periodically review your risk assessment so that it remains appropriate. You must keep a record of the risk assessment and any measures implemented.
Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007
For the first time, companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care. The act came into effect in April 2008.
Prosecutions will be of the corporate body and not individuals, but the liability of directors, board members or other individuals under health and safety law or general criminal law, will be unaffected. And the corporate body itself and individuals can still be prosecuted for separate health and safety offences.
In determining culpability the jury may consider the extent to which the evidence shows that there were attitudes, policies, systems, or acceptable practices within the organisation that were likely to encourage failures in respect to existing health and safety legislation or guidance causing a gross breach of their duty of care.
Health and Safety Offences Act 2008
The effect of this Act was primarily to increase penalties and provide courts with greater sentencing powers for those who are found in breach of health and safety legislation. The new powers came into force in January 2009. The effect of the Act is to:
- Raise the maximum fine which may be imposed in the lower courts to £20,000 for most health and safety offences;
- Make imprisonment of management an option for more health and safety offences in both the lower and higher courts;
- Make certain offences, which are currently heard only in the lower courts, heard in either the lower or higher courts.
Other legislation of note
There are other legislation and regulations which apply to all road users. These are typically heavily focused towards the driver, who will bear the greatest burden of responsibility. The Road Traffic Act and Construction and Use Regulations are examples. Although these primarily focus on the driver, under ‘cause or permit’ principles the company should not either cause or knowingly permit an employee to breach these regulations.
The major risk to organisations now is the increased potential for civil actions against them where it can be proved that the organisation was negligent in its health and safety obligations and therefore its duty of care, with the prospect of very significant fines or payments of compensation.
Fleet driver training services and products
I can help you undertake an overall risk assessment of work related driving in your business and formulate a suitable safe driving policy and any necessary procedures, documents or systems. In addition I can provide in-car driver risk assessments with the follow up options of classroom training or in vehicle training as may be required. Collectively this is sometimes referred to as occupational road risk management or fleet risk management or management of occupational road risk.
Defensive, advanced, corporate and eco-safe driver training
This style of driving is often referred to as defensive driving, advanced driving, corporate driving or more recently eco-safe driving. Essentially they are the same and the driver training given is virtually identical.
There are many techniques which drivers can use to significantly reduce fuel costs, one of the best way for drivers to learn these techniques is to participate in a one hour Eco-driving training session. These sessions have a proven track record and have helped drivers to achieve considerable savings on fuel, as well as reducing accident risk. Drivers are trained by suitably qualified fleet driver trainers. I have been accredited by the Energy Saving Trust to carry out this training programme on their behalf.
Golden rules to save fuel
- Anticipate Traffic Flow
- Maintain a steady speed at low engine speed
- change up through the gears early
- Check tyre pressures regularly (at least once a month)
- Remove roof racks when not in use
- Drive at an appropriate speed and within the speed limit
- Remove any unnecessary clutter from the vehicle