A van is not only an essential business tool. For some employees, it’s their place of work: where they spend more of their working hours than anywhere else. This means that employers owe a Duty of Care to these employees driving their vans, both for driver safety and the safety of other road users.
Your responsibilities and how to meet them
Nearly 60 employees in haulage and distribution have been killed on company business, and 5,000 suffered a serious personal injury, over the past five years. That’s why it’s essential as an employer that you know:
- Your van driver Duty of Care responsibilities
- Where to find the information you need to meet them
- What to look out for to reduce safety risks and increase safety
Below is an outline of the issues to consider around vehicle drivers Duty of Care, and how to find out more. For the complete picture of fleet manager Duty of Care you should also refer to the:
- Climb into the cab using any steps or handholds provided
- Step out rather than jumping down – checking first for uneven surfaces
- Keep the load area tidy and free from slippery spills, loose ropes, packaging etc.
- Be trained in and follow the company’s safe ways of working if using equipment such as tail-lifts
- Follow safe practices for loading and unloading
Pressure to get as much done as possible in as little time as possible may lead to unrealistic demands being placed on drivers. Unrealistic schedules may lead to speeding or dangerous driving. Better to plan a time- and fuel-efficient route in advance to achieve the optimum amount of deliveries/collections in safety and a high standard of care for your drivers.