Having drastically reduced their amount of mileage during the pandemic, many employees are anxious about driving for work again, according to Red Driver Risk Management. The company is therefore recommending businesses make sure their employees feel comfortable getting behind the wheel again and has compiled a six-question survey for fleets to check on the wellbeing of staff.
Duty of care has always been the foundation of good fleet risk management. But never has it been more important than now, and businesses need to be aware that the parameters of what they previously considered duty of care may have shifted considerably in the past year. After a year of lockdown, many employees have been working from home and driving a lot less than usual. But as there is a resumption of more typical working practices, mileages will start to rise again and this brings risk with it, not only for drivers whose skills are rusty, but for those who are naturally more nervous anyway.
The questions are:
- Are you expecting staff to resume driving for business?
- Are you asking staff that have not previously driven for business to drive – possibly even in their own vehicle?
- Have you directly asked your staff whether they feel comfortable returning to normal?
- Have you directly asked staff about the effect that COVID-19 has had on their mental wellbeing?
- Do you have in place a resiliency/wellbeing programme that all staff can access?
- Do you have in place any training courses available to staff who are not comfortable in any of the above areas?
Employers should ensure that:
- Drivers are competent.
- The required levels of skill are specified.
- Driving licences are checked for validity.
- Drivers are aware of the company policy.
- Drivers understand what is expected of them as regards road safety.
- Drivers are provided with instructions, guidance and training.
- Extra training on defensive driving or loading and unloading is provided if required.
- Times and routes of journeys take account of poor weather conditions.
- Vehicles are properly equipped to operate in poor weather conditions.
- Planned and preventative maintenance is carried out.