Fleet Risk Management | How to manage the risks associated with your vehicle fleet

Background

Driving at work is one of the most dangerous activities which an employee will undertake making Fleet Risk Management a key activity within organisations.

According to Brake, the road safety charity 1,784 people were killed and 25,511 were seriously injured on the roads in Britain in 2018. A total of 160,597 casualties of all severities in road traffic crashes were recorded.

There has been a proliferation of driver distractions from increased mobile phone use and other in-car items such as satellite navigation and infotainment systems such as Apple Car Play.

Why Manage the Fleet Risk?

Managing the fleet risk has a number of benefits for organisations.  First and foremost, it’s the right thing to do for both your employees and any member of the public who may be impacted.  Many organisations manage risk many other areas of their operations which it is arguable do not have the same potential impact if something goes wrong.

There is also a significant financial benefit to managing the risk. Vehicles involved in incidents will need recovering and repairing or replacing. In more serious incidents there will be insurance to deal with and could even lead to court cases or other proceedings, all of which absorb a large amount of administrative effort.

Individuals involved may also spend time off work with the associated loss of productivity. Key personnel could also stop some areas of the business functioning altogether.

The true cost of incidents is estimated to be many multiples of any bent metal repair cost.

The Process For Managing Fleet Risk

Phase 1 – Collect existing data, information, policies and procedures

Information should be collected from all areas of the fleet including company cars, vans, HGV’s as well as cash takers, daily hire and the grey fleet.  Grey fleet drivers. The data should cover those individuals driving the vehicles, the vehicles themselves and details of journeys undertaken.

Driver details could include information relating to age, licence details, job role, health, eyesight and incident history records.

Vehicle details could include type (e.g. Commercial vehicle), typical load, towing requirement, MPG, tax, insurance and maintenance records.

Journey details include mileage, timing and telematics data (if available).

Details of incidents and near misses should be obtained.

All written policies should be obtained and reviewed.

Input should be obtained from staff within the organisation who are use or are impacted by the vehicle fleet.

Phase 2 – Do a Risk Assessment

The risk assessment should identify those areas of concern covering any aspect of the operation of the fleet.

Risks should be prioritised with associated action plans put in place with the support of senior management. Action plans should have target dates and identified owners and regularly reviewed by the senior management team.

Control measures should be identified and measured for effectiveness.

Phase 3 – Implement Changes to Manage the Risks

The risk assessment should be the blueprint for managing the risk within the organisation.

Examples of interventions could include the following:

  • Changes to policy documentation such as the driver handbook, driving at work or company car policy. Other specific policies could be introduced or reviewed relating to mobile phones, smoking in vehicles, distractions, health and eyesight.
  • Vehicle selection criteria including safety equipment or driver aids.
  • Vehicle checks – documentation, walkaround checks, MOT’s and defect reporting.
  • Vehicle operations policies regarding vehicle loading and towing
  • Driver interventions such as driver licence checks, individual risk assessments and driver training.
  • Journey planning to avoid bad weather, accident hotspots or avoiding the journey altogether.
  • Training should be provided to managers to help them manage their employees in a manner consistent with the overall fleet risk strategy.

In Summary

The action plan as well as interventions should be communicated to relevant stakeholder groups both within the organisation as well as to those outside such as suppliers or consultants.

Information regarding the progress of activities should be shared with all the organisation to harness a culture of fleet risk reduction supported with messages from senior management. Reporting should be made available demonstrating the impact the actions have made to the organisation and the associated benefits.

Records should be kept demonstrating actions taken in respect of identified risks.

At EVP Solutions we have worked on a number of projects to help organisations reduce the risk associated with the fleet.

We have developed a free fleet risk management toolkit.  To get your copy

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