Most business owners, directors and fleet managers take the safety and well-being of their employees seriously. Where there is uncertainty on the skills or experience an employee has, training is offered to ensure the employee is competent and safe to carry out the task. Taking a basic example of manual handling – when taking on a new employee training is usually given on the recommended techniques when lifting and moving boxes and other items. Failure to give this training would result in severe consequences for the employer, should the employee cause themselves an injury while working, through lack of understanding of safe lifting procedures. Quite rightly so, the employer could find themselves having to compensate the employee financially. This is a basic example of the duty of care that employers owe their employees – quite simply if you are going to ask your employee to perform a task, you should ensure they are competent to do so.
Driving for work
Approximately 1700 people die every year on the UK’s roads – around 1/3 of these are driving for work
What steps do you take to ensure your drivers are properly trained to operate a vehicle they are using for work purposes? Do you check they have a valid driving licence? An alarming number of employers don’t even check this. A driving licence check is a good starting point but it does not give you anywhere near enough information to show that the employee will be safe on the road. An assessment of your employees’ practical ability to drive the vehicle is the only way you can be absolutely sure that they are safe on the road. Some employers make use of online risk assessments for their drivers. While these give a good indication on the level of risk a driver poses they are no substitute for seeing how they employee actually performs.
In the same way as the basic reference made to manual handling – if you haven’t provided your employee with training on how to carry out the task you are asking them to do, your business is at risk. In this case, you need to be sure the driver is safe – therefore an assessment of their ability is a must. Following assessment, any relevant training can then be given.
Driver risk assessment and training – Who can carry out an assessment?
The law only allows for a qualified person to carry out driver training in return for payment. This is not something that an employee of your company can do without the relevant qualifications. Green Penny have a team of highly qualified professionals that are able to carry out assessment and training on your behalf. Not only does this keep you on the right side of the law but it also ensures that your employees are being given the very best training by driver training experts.
How will this protect against action being taken against my company?
You will be able to show that you have taken effective measures in identifying training needs and addressing them. Green Penny provide full comprehensive reports on each employee so you are able to clearly see any training needs. This will allow you to take any further action necessary to keep the employee safe. In the event of a collision, your company can be investigated to establish liability for the collision (particularly in the event of a serious injury or death). If it is found that further reasonable steps could have been taken to prevent the collision, then action can be taken against your company. One option available is to prosecute under the ‘Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007’. A consequence of being found guilty can result in an unlimited fine and a publicity order being made – meaning you would be ordered to publicise events that led to your company being found guilty. Furthermore directors, owners and fleet managers can also be prosecuted personally for related offences.
Following training and advice given by Green Penny you will have the confidence that action is unlikely to be taken against your business in the event of a collision.
What should I do next?
Protect your business now before it’s too late. Don’t wait for a collision to occur before taking action. We can build a training programme to suit your business requirements. Contact us today for an informal discussion.