Driving For Work Is A Top Risk For Many Businesses And Their Employees
Those at-risk include staff who use their own vehicle while at-work. In some organisations, this cohort - commonly known as the “Grey Fleet” - can be more at risk than colleagues in commercial vehicles. Why? Because the latter are more obvious risks that tend to be managed by a fleet manager.
However, duty of care does not diminish simply because the vehicle is not company-owned or leased. In recognising grey fleet and joint responsibility, businesses must risk assess and plan appropriate interventions to create a safe working environment. Choosing not to increases risk to staff and exposes the organisation to loss and litigation.
Balancing Driver Risk Management and Data Risk Management
"What gets measured gets managed" is a business aphorism that applies to tackling road-risk. In the case of commercial vehicles, technologies such as telematics and video-based systems are used to identify good behaviour and opportunities for improvement. Proactive companies report fewer at-fault incidents, less business disruption, reduced operating costs / insurance and EL claims / CO2 emissions and even retain more staff.
However, in the case of grey fleet, often there is no decision-maker and so “the business” collectively turns a blind-eye to the associated risks, fudges the issue or unconvincingly, uses the excuse-du-jour (for example, “the GDPR” compliance) to procrastinate.
There is an alternative approach that delivers real business benefits.
Firstly, employers need to understand that managing grey fleet is not about managing the employee's vehicle. Vehicle risk is one element. Secondly, businesses must address the more important driver and journey factors in assessing risk. At the heart of managing grey fleet is proactively asking appropriate questions. Doing this - and securely managing any resulting personal data - is absolutely consistent with the GDPR regulations.
The forthcoming RSA and HSA seminars on "Driving for Work | Grey Fleet" (October 9th, 10th, 23rd and 24th) will "inform employers how to implement safe driving for work practices. The seminars will be of particular interest and benefit to employers, self-employed, transport, safety and fleet managers who operate vehicles in all work sectors. At the seminars, delegates will hear examples from companies who effectively manage driving for work".
Here are some questions that we imagine delegates will have:
- What questions must we ask staff who use their own car for work?
- Should we ask the same kind of questions as motor insurers do?
- Are questions around an employee’s penalty points, crash history, licence status and annual mileage reasonable or unreasonable?
- How can a business monitor - and influence - grey-fleet driver behaviour?
- Is driver training necessary for all staff?
- Is driver licence/insurance/NCT checking coupled with driver training sufficient?
If you are looking for any further guidance on managing your grey-fleet risk, see our previous posts on grey fleet (below), take a look at our Grey Fleet Risk Assessment Survey and Permit or give us a call today