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Fleets Still Leaving Themselves Exposed to Potential Risks

September 23, 2009

Despite efforts to improve risk management, fleets are still leaving themselves exposed to potential risks, according to Aviva.

It has compared the changing approach to occupational road risk by more than 1,400 fleet managers over the past three years and discovered failings where duty of care is concerned.

For example, the proportion of fleet managers obtaining details of a prospective new driver’s accident history – at around 55% – remains unchanged.

And although 65% of fleet managers do now have a driver fatigue policy – an increase of more than 20% since 2005 – Steve Shirley, Aviva’s commercial motor risk manager, believes this ought to be standard among fleets.

“Fleet managers have a responsibility to make sure that employee workloads and drivers’ schedules are well planned to minimise the likelihood of driver fatigue,” said Shirley.

When it comes to eyesight testing, only 13% of fleet managers enquire about a driver’s eyesight at the pre-employment stage – down 14% from 2005.

Finally, although Aviva’s data showed that the number of fleet managers providing a driver handbook is on the increase (from 51% in 2005 to 58% in 2008), Shirley believes this too, should be standard among fleets.

“It is a fundamental requirement that every fleet driver should have access to a driver handbook that is bespoke to their organisation, setting out information such as health and safety issues, driver responsibilities, permitted vehicle use, what to do in the event of an incident etc.”

The study data is collected via risk surveys conducted by Aviva among 1,400 Aviva policyholders on an ongoing basis from 2008.

John Leighton Managing Director of MAC GB Ltd said, ‘In times of severe economic difficulty and all the additional burdens which this places on Fleet Operators it is not surprising that Road Risk Management issues are being overlooked but it is a dangerous path to be treading. The legal requirements are quite clear and it is no defence to have ignored these issues because of other pressures, no matter how severe they are. It is important to realise that many of these issues can be addressed without major capital expenditure. MAC would be pleased to speak to anyone in need of help or guidance with Road Risk Management’ .

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