Safe. It’s a little word that has so much meaning and so much power behind it. There are all kinds of different types of ‘safe’, from personal safety to health and safety, and even the safety of your buildings and, of course, your business vehicles.
In today’s litigious society, it’s not enough to know you and your business are operating safely; you need to make sure that you have accounted for the things that might go wrong and put processes in place to mitigate any issues that you could foresee coming up.
When it comes to business vehicles, this is where fleet risk management comes in.
What Is Risk Management?
Risk management is a term used across industries to describe a process of planning for disaster. You’ll need to do a risk assessment and risk management for all aspects of your business and keep logs to show that you have thought about things and put things in place to try to mitigate foreseen risk, thus keeping your employees and members of the public as safe as possible.
It’s not possible to plan for all occasions, and there will always be issues that come up. Hopefully, they won’t be too bad and you can write them into future risk assessments, but failing to consider basic health and safety issues and trying to mitigate the risk is a serious breach and could mean you get a very large fine at best, and the death or life-changing injury to your workforce at worst.
Managing Risk In Business Vehicles
Vehicles for business use come in all different shapes and sizes. From the huge arctic trucks used to transport goods across the states, to small smart cars for traveling salespeople. Whatever the size of your vehicles, it’s essential that you consider the risk they may pose to the employees using them and to other road users.
Some of the risks you need to consider are:
- Driver Safety – are all drivers trained to drive the vehicles adequate, have they got the right documents, and are they old enough (or too old)?
- Insurance – Are all drivers insured to drive the vehicles should there be an accident?
- State Of Repair – Are all vehicles in a good state of repair? When was the last service on the vehicle? What is the process for checking the state of repair for the vehicle?
- Roadworthy Legalities – Have all vehicles and all vehicle parts passed roadworthy checks to ensure they are legally allowed to be on the road? This is different from the state of repair, as some countries and states allow vehicles in a very poor state of repair to be on the road while others have much stricter requirements.
- Loading – How are the vehicles loaded? Are they overloaded or underloaded?
Trailers and Towing – Can the vehicle tow? How much can it tow? Is it safe to tow? Are the drivers trained on towing, and can they tow to a good standard? How are you checking this?