Risk Management For Motor Fleets


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"The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the basis of health & safety law in this country, sets out employer’s duties to its employees and members of the general public and the duties that employees have to themselves and each other. Remember that the law states that a motor vehicle is a place of work. The Road Safety Bill contains a number of measures aimed at helping to improve safety on the roads of Great Britain and to help achieve targets for the reduction of casualty frequency and in particular revisions to the law relative to the use of mobile phones which is covered under the “Drivers” section of this document. A general introduction has been produced explaining how the new offence of corporate manslaughter/homicide works and where it will apply. It is intended to provide fundamental information to employers, senior managers and others seeking an overview of the new legislation.

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Risk Management For Motor Fleets

  3. 3. INTRODUCTION This document has been designed as an aide to motor fleet operators to assist where appropriate with the control of the fleet claims experience, to reduce the frequency and cost of motor claims and to encourage teamwork throughout the business. A loss control programme should begin with a “Statement of Policy” from senior management, signed by a company director that is clear to all employees. There should also be an effective review mechanism to ensure that the company statement is always appropriate through periods of change. Example: “Our company is committed to the continuous development of the driving force. We recognise the importance of providing full support to develop and improve business performance through driver training that will focus on the improvement of driving skills, organisational techniques, safety awareness and attitude to customers to achieve the highest possible standards during the course of employment. Continuous professional development is crucial to the overall performance of the company to reduce the frequency and cost of motor claims and to ensure that all drivers comply fully with their moral and legal obligations to enhance the company image. All drivers must take responsibility for their own development to achieve and maintain a high standard of performance. Management will regularly assess the standards of the driving force in the execution of their duties. This will include a focus on each and every incident (including compulsory driver de-briefs) to consider any training or disciplinary requirements. FOR THIS PROGRAMME TO BE EFFECTIVE ALL DRIVERS SHOULD TAKE A SERIOUS INTEREST IN ACCIDENT PREVENTION AND TREAT LOSS CONTROL AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THEIR DAY TO DAY ACTIVITIES. REMEMBER WE ARE ALL WORKING AS A TEAM TO ACHIEVE BEST PRACTICE IN OUR BUSINESS.” Each individual business needs to consider how the communication and introduction of the loss control programme will be implemented. The day to day management of the programme requires careful planning and will need to be accounted for in the company budget with consideration to the allocation of resources not just for the assessment of drivers but also corrective training and risk management initiatives. A statement of the company policy should be posted in prominent places and should form part of the terms of employment. SENIOR MANAGEMENT SHOULD BE COMMITTED TO THE IMPLEMENTATION AND CONTINUANCE OF THE PROCESSES INVOLVED. 1
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION (Continued) The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 is the basis of health & safety law in this country. The Act sets out employer’s duties to its employees and members of the general public and the duties that employees have to themselves and each other. Remember that the law states that a motor vehicle is a place of work. Within The Act the duties are qualified by the principle of “so far as is reasonably practicable” and requires good management and a common sense approach to identify risks within the business and take sensible and practical measures to deal with them competently. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 provides specific detail of employer’s obligations to manage health & safety under the Health & Safety at Work Act. This includes a requirement to carry out an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees, or themselves, whilst they are at work, and to other people who may be affected by their work activities. This includes any driving activity on the road. The regulations require risk assessment to be reviewed periodically to ensure that it remains valid and employers with five or more employees must also record the significant findings of their risk assessments. Employers also need to: • Make arrangements to implement health & safety measures identified as necessary • Appoint competent people to ensure the correct implementation of the measures • Set up (or review where existing) emergency procedures • Provide training and clear information to employees • Work together with other employers who may be sharing the same workplace Although drivers are ultimately responsible for how a vehicle is driven on the road the employer can and should have a significant influence on what the driver does. For example, the imposition of unrealistic delivery schedules, inadequate training and failure to properly maintain vehicles all increase the risk of road accidents and potential liability against the driving employee and the employer. Employers and their managers therefore have a duty of care under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASWA) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR). HSE You should ensure that employees are provided with a safe working environment to avoid potential liabilities and maximise performance within the business. Reference should be made the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) who publishes free leaflets and publications. Information is available at www.hse.gov.uk 2
  5. 5. INTRODUCTION (Continued) Road Safety Act 2006 The Road Safety Bill was given Royal Assent on 8th November 2006. The Act contains a number of measures aimed at helping to improve safety on the roads of Great Britain and to help achieve targets for the reduction of casualty frequency and in particular revisions to the law relative to the use of mobile phones which is covered under the “Drivers” section of this document. Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 received Royal Assent on 26th July 2007. The Act introduced a new offence, across the UK, for prosecuting companies and other organisations where there has been a gross failing, throughout the organisation, in the management of health and safety with fatal consequences. The new offence is effective on 6 April 2008. In the lead up to the Act coming into force, the Ministry of Justice has recently published guidance providing further information about the Act and its implementation, set out below: • Introduction to the Act: A general introduction has been produced explaining how the new offence of corporate manslaughter/homicide works and where it will apply. It is intended to provide fundamental information to employers, senior managers and others seeking an overview of the new legislation. Understanding the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 • Detailed guidance on implementation of the Act A fuller guide has also been produced, including which organisations are covered, the sort of incident to which it applies and those that are exempt and the test that will be applied by the courts. It is intended for those who need to know how the new Act will work in some detail, including health and safety managers and professionals. Reforming corporate liability for work-related death: a guide to the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 For more information on the Act, please see the Ministry of Justice website at: www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/manslaughteractguidance.htm 3
  6. 6. RECRUITMENT This is a crucial part of the company policy. Most employees will consider themselves to be good drivers when in reality most are not as good as they think they are! Roles and responsibility should be clearly defined. Company policy, particularly on drugs & alcohol and the use of mobile phones should be made abundantly clear. Here are some examples of the requirements that might be considered in the recruitment process: • All references contained within the job application form should be followed up to ensure that the history of the prospective employee is accurate and that their references are to an acceptable standard particularly regarding sickness records. • Checks for criminal convictions and county court judgements. • Completion of a numeracy / literacy test • Upon recruitment the successful candidate should be able to provide an original driving licence with no more than 3 penalty points (company policy will dictate the number acceptable that may be below or above this example) and (dependant upon the terms & conditions of employment) pass a driving test under the observation of the training manager. The test should take no longer than an hour and assess the applicant’s skills in both urban, rural and where appropriate motorway conditions. The training manager should also give the driver a reversing test between two static objects. A test form should be completed by the training manager, signed and dated with his recommendations for recruitment, based upon the applicant’s driving skills, knowledge of the Highway Code and any other relevant technical knowledge. • For large goods vehicles (LGV) of 7.5 tonne gross vehicle weight and above or passenger carrying vehicles (PCV) the driver should also produce his original LGV or PCV licence and be subjected to a test as outlined above for the vehicle that he would be expected to drive in the course of his employment. • Licence checks should be carried out every 6 months by the fleet administrator. Drivers failing to produce their original licence (not a copy) within 14 days of request should, subject to agreement on company policy, be suspended without pay until the licence is produced. When presented with a “duplicate” licence and an explanation of why the original is not available DVLA should be contacted by telephone and the person who holds the licence should be present. DVLA will carry out a security check with the licence holder and then confirm details of any endorsements. It is essential for all duplicate licences to be checked with DVLA. • The interviewer should clearly identify any physical or mental infirmities (particularly heart or diabetes problems which might increase the risk of an accident) and new recruits should always be subject to a medical examination to incorporate an eyesight test. To ensure that any eye defects are identified the examination should be preferably carried out by a fully qualified optometrist. 4
  7. 7. DRIVERS The Health & Safety at Work Act states that drivers’ must co-operate with the employer to ensure health & safety compliance. Continual objective assessment is a sound proactive approach to include: • Timekeeping • Attitude / behaviour • Hazard perception / accident awareness • Knowledge of driving hours & tachograph regulations / RTA / highway code • Accident record (including a record of near misses) • Tachograph review (for appropriate vehicles) • Dress and appearance Defensive driving techniques are an important aspect of the loss control programme to not only avoid hazardous situations and potential accidents but to minimise fuel consumption and general wear & tear on the company vehicle. Drivers should carry their original driving licence with them at all times. All licence endorsements and any pending prosecutions SHOULD be reported to the company representative as they arise. Any physical or mental infirmity should also be reported immediately. Failure to do so could invalidate the Insurance policy. The above processes will highlight underperformance and focus the driver’s mind on the issues and the solutions necessary to improve standards to an acceptable level. Driver cab pack / handbook All drivers should be provided with (and sign for receipt of) an information pack or driver handbook. To assist them in the event of an accident a “Scene of Accident Notification Form” should be completed that will provide the driver with details of the procedure to adopt and the information to be recorded at the scene of an accident. For accidents involving innocent third parties it is important for the company’s motor insurers to control the cost of third party claims and ensure that third parties fully mitigate their losses. Many operators also consider it prudent to provide their drivers with disposable cameras so that damage caused and positions of vehicles can be photographed at the accident scene. Photographic evidence can be crucial to the claims handling process and provides the insurance company with a window to the incident. QBE can provide details of companies providing disposable cameras at competitive prices. QBE can also provide the fleet operator with a supply of scene of accident notification forms. With the advent of modern technology it is now considered prudent by some companies to instruct their driving force to use mobile phones to photograph the driver of other vehicles involved in road traffic accidents together with the damage sustained, position of vehicles at the point of impact and skid marks where appropriate to do so. A simple digital image can often prove to be conclusive evidence for insurers negotiating claims on behalf of their policyholders. It should be stressed to drivers that the impression they make upon customers and members of the public is of great importance to the company that they are representing and that both complimentary and detrimental comments made about them will be recorded in their personnel records. 5
  8. 8. DRIVERS (Continued) Mobile Phones Regulations came into force on 1st December 2003 making it an offence to use a handheld mobile phone whilst driving. The sight of a motorist driving erratically whilst using a phone is a well recognised menace and studies have supported that perception demonstrating that the risk of accident whilst using a phone is 4 times higher. With one in three drivers admitting to using a phone whilst driving, the introduction of the regulations was widely welcomed as a positive step towards improving road safety. The penalty is a £30 fixed penalty or up to £1,000 on conviction in court (£2,500 for drivers of goods vehicles, buses or coaches). Drivers still risk prosecution (for failure to have proper control) if they use hands-free phones when driving. All employers and their drivers should be aware of forthcoming changes to the law contained in the Road Safety Act 2006. As from 27th February 2007 the Act will impose tougher penalties on the use of mobile telephones whilst in control of a vehicle. The main provisions to be aware of are: Hand Held Phones Under the Act the use of a hand held phone whilst driving becomes an endorseable offence with the £30 penalty introduced in 2003 replaced by three points added to a driving licence coupled with a fine of £60. If the matter is contested at trial, the judge still has the power to disqualify the motorist and impose a maximum fine of £1,000, or £2,500 in the case of drivers of goods vehicles, buses or coaches. Hand Free Phones The new offences include not having ‘proper control’ of a vehicle, which means a driver can be prosecuted if he or she is distracted while using a hands free mobile phone kit. The same penalties will apply and this becomes an endorseable offence attracting three penalty points. It should be remembered that the police now routinely obtain phone records of drivers involved in serious or fatal accidents. These enhanced regulations will have a considerable impact on the 3 million company car drivers in this country who may feel under particular pressure to use a phone whilst driving. Employer’s Liability It is an offence to cause or permit either the use of a hand held phone, or driving without control. Employers should ensure that their employees are aware of the risks of using mobile phones while driving and the potential criminal liability. They should ensure that they have a policy for the use of mobile phones in motor vehicles and reconsider any policies permitting the use of hands free phones by their employees. The safest telephone usage policy would be to prohibit the use a phone while driving, avoiding the risk of a health and safety prosecution. Breach of company policy should be a disciplinary offence and employers should ensure not only that company policy is being applied, but also that their employees are aware of the consequences of failure to do so. 6
  9. 9. VEHICLES The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) PUWER replaces the Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992 and adds to the requirements of the previous regulation. The regulation requires that risks to people’s health & safety, from equipment they use at work (including motor vehicles) be prevented or controlled. Lifting equipment is also subject to separate regulations under the Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. Under PUWER employers are required to ensure that equipment provided for use at work is: - suitable for the intended use - used only be people who have received adequate information, instruction & training - accompanied by suitable safety measures such as protective devices, warnings and markings - safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and regularly inspected to ensure that the equipment remains safe. If you allow employees to provide their own equipment (such as private cars for authorised business usage) it will also be covered by PUWER and you need to make sure that it complies with the regulation. Vehicles should therefore be kept in a safe and roadworthy condition at all times. Regular maintenance is essential and detailed records should be maintained for all maintenance, repairs and refurbishment carried out to each and every vehicle in the fleet including trailers. Regular inspections should be carried out and drivers should to be made aware of the company policy. Consider the provision of a driver daily inspection and vehicle defect sheet to encourage them to carry out all essential daily checks, to keep the vehicle tidy and to report all problems experienced arising from the use of the vehicle. Employees should be instructed to immediately report any vehicle defects or damage found on the vehicle so that the necessary action can be taken. Vehicle replacement costs may be influenced by the condition of the vehicle at the time of trade in. Drivers should be encouraged to take care of vehicles that are in their custody & control by ensuring that regular inspections and maintenance checks are carried out and recorded in the company records. Vehicle “ownership” and accountability should be encouraged wherever possible to promote driver care of the vehicle. Consider fitting tracking systems/ immobilisers to vehicles to improve security and monitor drivers’ usage of vehicles. This will help maintain company policy on usage and assist with reduction in fuel costs. Potential thieves can be deterred by even the most basic vehicle security and all drivers should be made aware that they are responsible for safeguarding the vehicle and its contents / load whilst the vehicle is in their custody and control. In particular they should receive written instruction to confirm that when the vehicle is left unattended the vehicle keys must be removed from the ignition, all windows and doors locked and all security devices operational irrespective of the period of time that the vehicle is left unattended. 7
  10. 10. VEHICLES (Continued) Spot checks can be an essential part of these and other procedures adopted by the company to keep drivers alert to the company policies. They need to be aware that spot checks will take place at regular AND irregular intervals and reports should be made available to both the fleet engineer and the driver. Equally as important as the safety of the vehicle is the safety of the load that is being carried that is the direct responsibility of the driver and his employer. If a vehicle carries an unsafe load and/or is overloaded an offence will have been committed. It is essential for the driver and the employer to be entirely satisfied that the load being carried is entirely safe and within the law before the vehicle is taken onto the public highway even when the vehicle or trailer has not been loaded by the driver or another employee of the company. Checks should be made to ensure that the load is spread evenly and is fully secured to prevent movement and the possibility of the vehicle becoming unstable, particularly under heavy braking. Vehicles must never be loaded beyond their capacity. Speed limiters can often assist with loss control as so many accidents happen at speeds either above the permitted limits or at unsuitable speeds for the conditions prevailing at the time. It may be considered prudent to request drivers to seek permission from their line manager before a vehicle is used for any unscheduled journeys and to restrict driving to employees only or to the employees and close relatives and NOT friends. 8
  11. 11. VEHICLE RECOVERY Where a policy cover is provided It is essential for the cost of vehicle collection from the scene of accidents to be controlled by the Insurer wherever possible to ensure through the Insurer’s in house engineering team that charges are entirely reasonable. Insurers taking the initiative to address high (and often exorbitant) charges can ensure that recovery and storage charges are properly controlled by instructing proficient recovery agents who will act quickly and in accordance with agreed recovery rates. This is particularly important for the recovery of heavy goods vehicles where charges from recovery agents instructed by the attending police officers are often excessive and when a recovery agent has a vehicle at their premises it is very difficult to negotiate a fair price as they will often refuse to allow removal until their charges as presented have been paid. Whilst in law they have no lien on a recovered vehicle recovery operators will refuse to recognize the legal position. It is recommended that fleet operators provide their drivers with specific instructions on vehicle collection from an accident scene where the vehicle has been immobilized and QBE can provide an example of an “in cab” or windscreen sticker instruction for the driver to ensure early, proficient and cost effective collection by using the QBE preferred recovery agent network. By the Police granting an “owners request” for vehicle collection by an approved recovery agent charges will be within the Insurers expectations. QBE’s preferred agents provide a fixed price menu for vehicles on and off road up to 3.5 tonnes, an HGV pricing menu, no hidden extras and for all invoices in excess of £500 photographic evidence is supplied to support the charges presented. Accident recovery is provided throughout the UK and Europe through a network of over 500 recovery operators and average incident attendance time is only 30 minutes through a 24 hour national freephone call centre. QBE are willing to pay a fair price for recovery services BUT if reasonable charges cannot be negotiated the vehicle owners or their insurers can insist on their statutory rights to pay only the prescribed Sums and Charges under the “Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 & The Prescribed Sums and Charges Regulations 1989 SI 1989 No.744, 1993 No. 550. The Police should accede to the vehicle owners request to choose their own recovery operator even though some police authorities still choose not to do this. Recovery operators will often try to claim within their recovery charges the following additional charges and “sundry” items: • Management Fees • Winching • Gloves and Reflective Jackets / Damaged Equipment • Refreshments • Vehicle cleaning charges / “added services” charges Help QBE to ensure that the right level of charges is incurred by instructing the approved recovery agents. Ask for QBE’s leaflet for inclusion in your driver or cab “packs”. 9
  12. 12. ACCIDENT REPORTING / ASSESSMENT A well defined “Claims Procedure Document” should be agreed with the motor insurer for larger fleet risks and QBE actively promotes this activity and will discuss and agree a definitive claims procedure document. The QBE Motor Accident Report Form and Motor Theft Report Form are tailored to capture all critical and relative information and as an alternative QBE can provide a combined “Accident / Driver De-Brief Report Form” as a “Word” template that allows the company transport manager to record details of discussions with drivers at formal de-brief meetings and deal quickly with any training and/or disciplinary issues. Drivers should never be allowed to dismiss criticism of their driving performance in the course of their employment. It is extremely important to discuss and agree exactly how preventable accidents could have been avoided and should be avoided in the future. It is also considered good practice to make drivers fully aware of the cost of the accidents that they cause. They should be made accountable for their actions. De-Brief meetings should follow ALL incidents of damage or injury at the earliest opportunity (certainly within 72 hours of the incident) and be kept deliberately brief beginning with an explanation of the events from the driver and what he feels that he could have done to have avoided the incident altogether. General carelessness is a main cause of accidents and defensive driving techniques may be of direct benefit to both driver and company. Levels of concentration at the time of the incident is often an influencing factor. Review the completed claim form as early as possible before a de-brief meeting. Ask yourself if the claim form reveals: • Your employees lack of respect for other road users? • A general lack of judgment? • Lack of concentration? • Excessive speed? • Driving too close to the traffic ahead? • Tiredness? • A lack of vehicle maintenance? • Other possible causes or contributory factors? ASK THE DRIVER DIRECT QUESTIONS THAT ARE CONSIDERED RELEVANT AND RECORD THE RESPONSES FOR THE PERSONNEL FILE PLUS, ANY DISCIPLINARY ACTION AND DRIVER TRAINING OR RE-TRAINING REQUIREMENTS THE OBJECTIVE IS TO MAKE THE DRIVER REALISE THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF AN AVOIDABLE ACCIDENT, TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY AND TO ENCOURAGE A MORE DEFENSIVE DRIVING APPROACH 10
  13. 13. PRO-ACTIVITY QBE The QBE Scene of Accident Information Form aides this process. It is essential that innocent parties who have sustained loss or damage through an accident caused by a company driver are contacted as quickly as possible so that QBE can endeavour to control the cost of the claim, that is to offer a vehicle repair service, replacement vehicle where necessary and to help the innocent party to fully mitigate the loss. By providing a freephone number on the scene of accident form QBE can respond quickly and effectively to calls received. QBE will remind third parties that it is their duty to fully mitigate their losses and that if they fail to take advantage of the services offered the cost of their claims may be reduced. Similarly a pro active approach to recognised third party injuries caused by the company driver will assist with early opinion, prognosis and recommendation for the appropriate treatment to accelerate the recovery process. We are committed to the “rehabilitation” processes where they are identified as being appropriate. For QBE to be successful with this philosophy it is essential for all accidents to be reported at the earliest opportunity and wherever possible within 24 / 48 hours of the event. FLEET OPERATOR / POLICYHOLDER Driver de–brief. Companies should consider early implementation of driver training and/or disciplinary measures following “fault” accidents or any breach of the terms of employment. Risk analysis / strategy. Constantly monitor performance and measure against achievable targets. Refer to page 14 for commentary and recommendations. Driver training. Defensive driving techniques. There are a variety of companies providing a range of training services if you do not employ your own driver trainers. They will generally train on the following as primary defensive driving issues: • Reducing vehicle speed • Maintaining a safe distance from the traffic ahead • Awareness and Concentration techniques • Progressive braking when slowing • Hazard perception techniques Driver development & review. For instance: • Bi-annual assessment on driving / loading / unloading • Annual assessment of defensive driving techniques 11
  14. 14. PRO-ACTIVITY (Continued) • Post accident training • Annual staff reviews of performance against job description or role statement. • Competency measurement to ensure that the driver is able to fully perform his role and to highlight all areas where training or disciplinary action is required. Reliable lines of communication with vehicle suppliers to ensure that ALL relative maintenance bulletins are received from the vehicle manufacturers and that ANY defect warnings are acted upon quickly. Regular vehicle servicing with written schedules and maintenance records for all vehicles and a strict policy of vehicle checks to ensure that schedules are properly adhered to. Such measures can reduce the frequency of road traffic accidents and vehicle breakdown. Driving Performance Feedback & Analysis Some transport operators employ the “How’s My Driving” Scheme which was the first scheme of its type launched in 1995 and other feedback service schemes have arisen since such as the “Well Driven” and “Drivercare” schemes. These schemes encourage independent feedback from the public on both good and bad driving through a dedicated free phone number and 24 hour communication centre. Is this something that your company wishes to consider? If drivers’ perform well consider rewarding them through incentive schemes. If they perform below the expected and agreed standards then identify the reasons for the failings and act upon them. Follow the prescribed disciplinary measures and ensure the every employee has the opportunity to improve through learning, development & training. 12
  15. 15. DISCIPLINARY ACTION If a driver knows that he is going to be questioned and made accountable for any incident where he is partly or fully to blame he is more likely to exercise greater care and increased awareness when driving company vehicles. It is essential for all drivers to be held directly accountable for the loss, expense and inconvenience to the company caused as a direct result of their failings in one or more areas of their duties and remedial driver training is essential part of the development process. It may be considered prudent to provide all drivers with a list of conviction codes that could form part of the driver cab pack / handbook. The following is an EXAMPLE of a disciplinary policy that may be undertaken by the company: “A penalty point system similar to that used with your driving licence will now be enforced with immediate effect. The mechanics of the process are as follows:- All points will accumulate over a 2 year period First Blameworthy Incident 3 points Second Blameworthy Incident 3 points Third Blameworthy Incident 3 points Forth Blameworthy Incident 3 points Drivers totaling 12 points inside 2 years will automatically face dismissal as a company driver. In certain circumstances and only subject to a vacancy being available elsewhere within the business may the driver be considered for alternative employment at the prevailing rate of pay for the job in question. It will be possible for the manager in question to assign more than 3 points to a driver for a single blameworthy accident, ie. more serious accidents where the driver is deemed to be negligent with significant injuries and costs involved. In such circumstances and depending on the gravity of the accident the manager could decide to impost 6, 9 or 12 points for a single incident. Any driver currently on a warning for poor driving performance should be immediately notified of his or her points accrual. Points will drop off a driver’s record at the end of each 2 year period from when the points were first assigned. Failure to stop at the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident whether on the road or in any depot will result in an automatic 9 point penalty being assigned to any driver proven guilty of such a breach of conduct. 13
  16. 16. DISCIPLINARY ACTION (Continued) Drivers who feel unfairly treated by their manager will have the right to appeal and this will be to an arbitration panel which will consist of:- • Line manager • Transport or training or disciplinary manager • Company director This panel should in all cases adjudge the merits of the appeal and give their decision which will be final. The period in which an appeal may be made will usually be up to 6 months from date of accident although subsequent evidence which comes to light after this period may also be considered in any appeal situation.” Taking into account all business, union or legal implications relative to your particular industry could a policy like this work for your business? Companies should also consider charging back to the individual driver, depot or division the incurred costs such as policy excess or rental/hire charges caused by the loss of use of the vehicle in a fault accident. Conversely, incentives should be considered for good driving performance over a period by way of bonuses at driver, depot or division level to introduce an element of competitiveness and reward for a job well done over a period of time. IS A “DRIVER OF THE YEAR AWARD” APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR BUSINESS? 14
  17. 17. DRIVER TRAINING The purpose of driver training is to improve the performance of all of the driver’s duties and to enhance their own and the company image. Successful training relies upon the trainer and the driver being committed to the processes. Consider a “Driver Training Improvement Scheme” to target all employees over a period of time. Those drivers who have had blameworthy accidents during the last 12 months should be given priority. This training should involve the driver giving up some of his/her own time to complete the training process if necessary. Distance learning can have a direct benefit that can involve computer based learning through CD Rom software for instance, or DVD’s, videos, audio tapes or books. Interactive online software is also now available from a range of businesses. See recommended website addresses on Page 19 of this document. Regular driving assessment is beneficial to both driver and employer to achieve a reduction in accident frequency, severity of accidents. associated cost and to reduce the human suffering and inconvenience caused by road traffic accidents. Consideration should be given to a mix of pre-arranged assessments and unannounced assessments, at least one each per year, dependant upon each driver’s performance with the training assessor remaining with the driver for all or part of the shift. The driving assessor needs to ensure that drivers are actively observing hazards and registering them consciously rather than looking and seeing a hazard but not properly registering its presence and potential danger. This should form part of the defensive driving/driver awareness training AND continual training development should then include refresher training, remedial training and appraisal (at least one a year forming part of the driver’s personnel file). Consideration should be given to the employment of full or part time driver trainers if they are not already employed (directly or indirectly) and affiliations with the likes of R.O.S.P.A and the implementation of driver proficiency tests / defensive driving techniques and accident awareness campaigns. R.O.S.P.A. also arranges courses on accident investigation. You should provide all drivers with a handbook as a point of reference and drivers should be instructed to record all of their training in a personal development pack. Fact: Human error is the cause of more than 90% of road traffic accidents in the UK Fact: A Driver who has a “fault” accident is 5 times more likely to have another accident in the next three years (information from Roadcraft - The police driving manual. Fact: Rear end shunts account for more than 30% of all UK road traffic accidents. Look to reduce the frequency of major accident types such as rear end collisions, Impact with immobile property, junction collisions and passenger falls / injury (passenger carrying vehicles). Also look to implement driver opinion surveys and suggestion schemes to involve them in the process of loss control. This is another way of encouraging drivers in the whole process of loss control. Make them feel an important part of the process. REMEMBER THAT IT IS A TEAM EFFORT 15
  18. 18. RISK STRATEGY OPTIONS • Form a risk management strategy • Set the company policy • Implement the initiatives throughout the company • Establish “best practice” and share across the company • Incorporate realistic targets and timescales to reduce the cost per claim, cost per vehicle and frequency of loss. A realistic target may be to reduce the claims cost by £150 per vehicle across a three year to five year period. • Establish a route risk assessment – frequency of claim / accident type at the same location / route revision where possible / hazard awareness for routes that cannot be avoided. This can be particularly effective for passenger carrying vehicle fleets. Make full use of GPS technology available to you. • Identify weaknesses & trends in the claims experience. QBE will assist with this through claims review processes. • Consider the creation of a risk management panel. It is generally considered good practice to continually monitor the progress of the claims frequency and cost against the insurance policy record and meet with Insurers regularly to discuss any areas of concern. • Always look to identify the changes in the fleet claims experience, both frequency and cost to measure the improvement (or deterioration) in the performance compared to previous reviews or analysis and to identify areas requiring improvement. QBE can assist with this process through specific risk analysis reports. • Of course, regular review meetings with drivers to discuss their accident record and records of near misses is important to demonstrate that the company policy is the subject of a continual focus and a regular review. • Implement the solutions and monitor future progress. If the solutions are not working review again, make the necessary changes and try again. When you have established tried and trusted solutions use them as part of the future risk management strategy. • Set key performance indicators within a driver training and development program such as: o reduced frequency of incidents and/or average claims costs o fuel efficiency ratings o customer complaints o attendance o overall performance Consider driver incentives, league tables and the like to encourage good performance. 16
  19. 19. SUMMARY To ensure the successful implementation of a loss control programme and its continuing success the following should be considered by the company and should form part of the contractual terms of employment where appropriate: • A well publicised statement of policy from senior management / directors • Stringent reviews of employment applications, evidence of qualifications and requisition of references prior to a decision on employment • Examination of the original of the drivers licence • A requirement for regular and detailed vehicle inspections by drivers and by fleet engineers and managers including spot checks. Full written records are essential. • A comprehensive driver pack to be retained by the driver in the vehicle. • A policy of driver accountability following a blameworthy incident to include a driver de-brief. • A continual focus on the company initiatives and regular reviews of the company disciplines. Set key performance Indicators and measure. • Regular and detailed review of the claims experience at driver, depot and divisional levels. Set performance targets that are achievable to reduce the road risk and company costs. Continually monitor the performance of the risk and the targets that you are looking to achieve. This is an ongoing process where you are searching for the “best practice” for your company. • A comprehensive driver review and training program. • Pro Active approaches wherever possible, certainly to contain the cost of an innocent parties claim by providing early contact with the motor Insurer and implementing procedures to control repair costs, hire charges and the cost of personal injury claims through rehabilitation to resolve injury claims as quickly as possible. • A well publicised disciplinary policy • And above all ensure compliance with regulation and legislation relative to your business. In particular the Road Traffic Act (RTA), Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASWA), Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) and The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) directly relative to the operations of a motor vehicle fleet where you have duties as the employer. 17
  20. 20. COMMENT Communication is all important. Performance should be continually measured and pro active measures taken to achieve the desired results. We hope that this guide on risk management is of some benefit to your business and that you are able to recognise, control and reduce the losses caused by avoidable incidents. THE COMPANY PHILOSOPHY, CONTRACTS, HANDBOOKS ARE UP TO YOU AND YOUR PARTICULAR ORGANISATION BUT WE WILL BE PLEASED TO OFFER ANY FURTHER ASSISTANCE IN THIS RESPECT. If you want to discuss any of the initiatives in this document please do not hesitate to contact Paul Dunkley on 01245 272864 or Email: paul.dunkley@uk.qbe.com A POSITIVE APPROACH AND CONTINUAL FOCUS WILL LEAD TO POSITIVE RESULTS FOR YOUR BUSINESS! REMEMBER: MONITOR MANAGE PROGRESS THE RISK DISCUSS & IDENTIFY IMPLEMENT FAILINGS SOLUTIONS 18
  21. 21. USEFUL WEBSITES There are many very useful websites providing more detailed information and recommendations on the management of occupational road risk some of which also provide fact sheets and literature such as examples of driver handbooks. Here are some of these sites that may be of direct benefit to your organisation. ASSOCIATIONS • The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) www.rospa.co.uk • Road Haulage Association (RHA) www.rha.net • Freight Transport Association (FTA) www.fta.co.uk • RoadSafe www.roadsafe.com • Brake www.brake.org.uk • Occupational Road Safety Alliance www.orsa.org.uk • Institute of Advanced Motorists www.iamfleet.com DRIVER TRAINING • Transfed (Bus & Coach Drivers) www.transfed.org • Interactive Driving Systems www.roadrisk.net • Drive & Survive www.driveandsurvive.co.uk • Pelican Driving Services www.pelicandriving.com GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS • Department for Transport (DFT) www.dft.gov.uk • Driver Standards Agency www.dsa.gov.uk • Health & Safety Executive (HSE) www.hse.gov.uk • Driver & Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) www.dvla.gov.uk • Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA) www.vosa.gov.uk • European Commission Road Safety Unit www.europa.eu.int/comm/transport/index_en.html • Safe & Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED) www.safed.org.uk DISPOSABLE CAMERA COMPANIES • Acci-Cam (Roadside Witness) www.acci-cam.com 19
  22. 22. NOTES QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited is part of QBE European Operations, a division of the QBE Insurance Group. QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited is authorised and regulated by the MF/RMG Financial Services Authority. Registered office Plantation 01/08 Place, 30 Fenchurch Street London EC3M 3BD. Registered in England and Wales No. 1761561 20