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One in three fleets breaking health and safety law

A third (33%) of fleet decision-makers do not have a company vehicle policy in place, despite it being a legal requirement, new research suggests.

The law requires employers to manage work-related road safety risk. For employees driving for work, this should include checking drivers’ licences, organising driver training, vehicle maintenance, and updating a company vehicle policy.

Chris Black, commercial director at LeasePlan UK, which conducted the research, says it is “important” fleet decision-makers do their due diligence.

The survey of 500 UK fleets also found that despite 85% of businesses having more staff than usual working from home in the past 12 months, one in five (22%) had not reviewed their fleet policies to take new ways of working into consideration.

It also revealed that less than half (41%) of fleet decision-makers always act on potential issues of fleet performance.

“Vehicle fleets have provided a vital safety line throughout the pandemic by helping to keep our essential workers mobile,” continued Black.

“During this time, many businesses have had to make significant changes to their fleet function, and as such, existing company fleet policies may be out of date. This naturally presents a safety risk to a company's employees, as well as the general public, so it's important that those operating fleet do their due diligence.”

Reducing fleet risk was highlighted as the third most important issue by businesses for their vehicle operations in 2021, according to LeasePlan. It came behind cost and becoming more sustainable.

The lease provider says managing fleet risk has the potential to impact both these first two aims if managed properly.

However, considering its research found that telematics was only being utilised by 35% of businesses that are monitoring their fleet performance, LeasePlan says that there is clearly work to be done.

Fleet decision-makers reported an average of 11.17 accidents a year involving vehicles in their fleets, with the average cost of vehicle repair after an accident coming in at over £3,800. With 29% averaging the cost of vehicle repair at £5,000 or more, LeasePlan says that there is a clear correlation between managing risk and the legal and financial ramifications on a business.

Black continued: “Whilst many businesses will manage an issue after it happens, we believe it’s imperative that those managing fleets address potential risks proactively.”

LeasePlan will soon be launching a Fleet Risk Assessment Tool, which will calculate potential risk and offer solutions to ensure businesses are fully compliant. With a focus on driver safety, LeasePlan’s risk services are aligned with SafePlan Zero; LeasePlan’s global ambition to have zero serious road injuries by 2030, it says.

Fleet News May 2021


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