What are the Health & Safety responsibilities of fleet managers?

As a fleet manager, you have numerous responsibilities when it comes to managing company vehicles. With business vehicles making up a large proportion of vehicles on the road it is essential that the driver is well-trained, but also that the vehicles are roadworthy and able to cope with the loads they carry and the miles they cover.

 

 

What are the legal requirements?

Health and safety at work laws apply to working on the road in the same way that they do when an employee works in a warehouse or at a desk.

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers duties are defined as the health and safety of employees at work as far as is reasonably practical. That means taking all possible steps to ensure that they are not hurt whilst at work, or engaged in work-related activities, like driving and delivering.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 also apply. Under this set of rules, employers are tasked to manage health and safety measures effectively, which includes carrying out assessment and consulting with employees.

Fleet managers when considering health and safety must also work to the standards laid out in the Road Traffic Act and the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations, both of which are enforced by the police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). If there is a serious failure in fleet management health and safety, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will become involved.

Injury or death of drivers (or of another person) can result in employers being prosecuted thus, the role of the fleet manager in health and safety is a serious one.

The Health and safety role of the fleet manager

In a nutshell, the health and safety responsibilities of a fleet manager can be split into three broad categories;

·        Vehicle inspections

Vehicle inspections are split into;

  • A daily walk around – usually carried out by the driver or another responsible person
  • First use/regular safety inspection – the frequency of which this is done will depend on age and type of vehicle, the load it carries, the environment as distance and speed of travel

·        Reporting and dealing with faults and routine maintenance

There needs to be a strong and robust system in place to report, record and deal with faults. There needs to be a trail of evidence that shows defects have been rectified effectively and that regular maintenance, such as brake checks after a certain number of miles, are also carried out. These records should be kept for at least 15 months.

·        Training drivers

Drivers need to be adequately trained to safely drive and handle any vehicle they use in the course of their work. It is not just about driving the vehicle, but making sure that if drivers are expected to perform minor maintenance such as changing bulbs etc, that they are competently trained to do so.

In summary

With the right systems in place, fleet managers shouldn’t be worrying about the roadworthiness of company vehicles. With regular checks, training and reporting, vehicles will be fit to do their job.

How can we help you?

If you are in need of assistance with any aspect of Health and Safety management, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions or are looking for advice and support to maintain standards, call 01484 666160 or Email info@synergosconsultancy.co.uk and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.

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