What’s your key takeaway from the pandemic? What has changed significantly in your life as a result of COVID-19? And what’s altered in the way you approach your personal and business lives? Looking back there’s the rise of flexi working which has been key to many companies riding out the pandemic. But there has also … Continued
What’s your key takeaway from the pandemic? What has changed significantly in your life as a result of COVID-19? And what’s altered in the way you approach your personal and business lives?
Looking back there’s the rise of flexi working which has been key to many companies riding out the pandemic. But there has also been a rise in delivery services, whether it’s online shopping from the grocery majors to food delivery firms popping round with takeaway meals.
Vehicles used for these activities range from vans and cars to cycles and bikes. But not all are company-owned, and some that I’ve seen on the delivery beat look decidedly…well…downbeat.
Are these vehicles really fit for the road? Good question.
It’s a question the Health And Safety Executive has also been considering and has updated its advice to cover the gig economy and the increasing use of personal vehicles for business purposes, commonly called ‘grey fleet’.
In many ways this renewed interest in the gig economy is timely, because it’s important to refocus the provision of business vehicles in a way that’s structured and fully meets the responsibilities of the business in relation to its drivers.
Understanding Work-related Road Risk
Understanding Work-related Road Risk is crucial because it establishes those legal responsibilities. These are nothing new, but perhaps in the response to the pandemic, along with the move to electrification – and the strategies required to swap from petrol or diesel to plug-in – some of those fleet fundamentals have been overlooked.
So the fact that the updated guidance brings work-related road risk back into focus is welcome. More importantly, the HSE makes it clear that any business using gig workers or contractors has the same responsibilities regarding vehicle safety as they do for their own company cars or vans.
That’s not to say that drivers and riders don’t have an individual responsibility under road traffic law to drive responsibly and obey the laws of the road, but when they are driving for work, the organisation they work for has legal responsibility for their health and safety. For example, ensuring employees do not drive an excessive number of hours; or checking that their vehicle is properly maintained, even if it belongs to the employee. The HSE says these regulations apply to all workers, including those using two-wheeled vehicles, such as motorcycles, scooters and ebikes.
Managing your fleet risk
Part of the updated guidance is about ensuring that vehicles used for work are appropriate and safe. Which is an area where we can actively help to manage your fleet risk, by helping you establish fleet policies and choice lists that reflect the requirements of your drivers and the business, while also creating a strategy for fleet electrification as part of that process.
As well as that, our established driver app – part of our fleet management suite – can help with regular vehicle checks that require completion before the driver starts the day: these can be daily (particularly in the case of vans) to monthly (cars, for instance).
It’s crucial to get all of this so, so right. Because driving for work remains one of the most dangerous activities, with some 200 deaths and serious injuries involving people using the road for work, according to the HSE.
In total some 40,000 people working in occupations such as sales, deliveries or taxi-driving are involved in road traffic collisions every year with company car drivers 49% more likely to be involved in traffic collisions – and those are just the reported incidents, never mind those incidental bumps and bangs that occur.
So it’s important to get a grip of driver and vehicle safety under your watch. The cost to your business if you do not – let alone the irreplaceable human costs – can run into millions if your company is prosecuted. Don’t let that happen – look after your drivers and their vehicles; ensure your business understands its work-related road risks.
In my last blog – Green – what does it mean? – I talked about the issue of mobility and how it will relate to fleets in the future. Over in Germany, there’s been an exhibition examining just that. Called IAA Mobility 2021, it was based in Munich and featured everything from the latest in … Continued
Good news. We’ve been shortlisted in the Green Initiative Award, run by trade title BusinessCar. It’s the first time we have entered the award, so getting on the shortlist is terrific. Step one completed, then; step two – winning, against some stiff opposition – might be more difficult, of course… So I’m very pleased, but … Continued
Salary sacrifice as a method of acquiring vehicles is rising in popularity, as it often does when the taxation environment is beneficial. And at the moment, it’s particularly beneficial for zero-emission vehicles, with benefit in kind rates from 1% and then rising to just 2% until 2024/25 tax year. This rise in popularity was reflected … Continued
The Olympics, that fabulous cauldron of national contests every four years, has had a bumpy ride up to its Official Opening Ceremony (Friday 23 July 2021). Delayed a year thanks to the pandemic, yet still dogged by coronavirus that will see the athletes performing to empty stadia; a Japanese nation distrustful of so many athletes … Continued
It appears yesterday was the day marked ‘Decarbonisation Day’. Governments both here and the EU made far-reaching and important statements about the environmental challenge we all face to reach net zero by 2050. In the UK we know the route for car and van fleets has been well-signposted: 2030 sees the ban on new petrol … Continued
We’ve made a start on sustainability. But, hey, has it thrown up some difficult questions. Questions that we did not envisage when we began. The start we have made is around our commitment to a managed fleet of zero emissions vehicles by 2030 having joined EV100, the organisation representing businesses globally that have committed to … Continued
Twelve million globally. That will be the number of electric vehicles on the road in June 2021. Which sounds like a lot of vehicles to me. It is a lot of vehicles. Especially since the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road was just 1 million in 2005. The choice back in 2005 was … Continued
Imagine this: you drive a zero emission car, so you’ve eradicated local pollution issues. Good. All positive. Then add this capability: the ability to suck up and ‘clean’ air pollution as you drive. Hold on, what….? In my mind it’s a bit like drinking beer and having a filtration system that ensures you don’t wake … Continued
Tesla has a certain knack of creating headlines. Fair play. But on this occasion, the Elon Musk run electric car maker found itself on the receiving end of some unwelcome attention at the Chinese Shanghai Auto Show. Taking place this week, a woman – protesting at her treatment by Tesla following an accident – invaded … Continued