What are some of the characteristics of a Ninja? The Ninja is prepared, focused on their decision and they look for the quickest way to do their work effectively. These characteristics also hold true for the busy but effective fleet manager!
To help out fleet managers, and health and safety managers too, I’m sharing seven powerful best practice tips for building an effective fleet risk management programme like a Ninja.
Each tip gives you best practice for each area in our seven step programme for preventing vehicle collisions.
This is the foundation of your fleet risk management programme. It needs senior managers to set the policy on the management of driving activity. Some businesses have a weighty tome in terms of Driving At Work Policy. It’s so weighty no one reads it. Or they don’t have one at all, there seems to be little in between.
So tip number 1 – develop a Driving At Work Policy but only cover those issues that are going to cause a serious accident on the road. It’s the stuff that’s potentially going to cause a fatality and you should demonstrate that you’re managing it!
That means issues such as managing fatigue and driver distraction, but not how to order your next company car. Keep the policy short so colleagues can read it easily and take in the information and keep a record of who has received it.
Many fleet operators have an HR department that runs recruitment. They will need to recruit individuals who will need to drive as part of their role. The HR team often hasn’t included any vetting procedure for driving competence into their procedure. So if there’s no medical check in the recruitment process, there may be no conversation around eyesight standards and health issues that could affect driving competence.
The second tip for busy managers is to arrange a simple Highway Code style eyesight test in the car park for new recruits, that should bring some piece of mind!
Improving the reporting and investigation of collisions is the fastest way to save money on your insurance spend. Why? The speedy reporting of a collision with a third party to your insurance claim handlers prevents a credit hire company getting involved in the claim. That will save you £000s on a claim.
So train all your employees who drive on your behalf to report a collision in at least two hours. Why two hours? Any longer and the third party is going to ring their insurer. Then the credit hire companies get involved…
The key to improvement in so many areas of life is taking small steps forward on a consistent basis. It’s no different with fleet risk management. With no regular and visible action taken, you won’t get the improvements you are looking for.
One of the key issues is introducing consequences for poor driving performance. If someone has not met your driving standards, there needs to be an intervention! Take action to improve their understanding of what forms acceptable driving practice. I’m not talking about using a big stick here although I know in some cases that might be appropriate! What I am talking about is instruction to improve the skills of the driver.
That leads us onto education and training.
People normally think about one to one training in a vehicle and that’s great, but there are other easy to deliver training opportunities. I’ve seen those managers who deliver regular toolbox talks on driving performance and safety see a marked reduction in their fleet collision frequency with no impact on the training budget.
Just keep those regular touch points with the driver working. Fleet managers often admit that communication between the management team and the drivers needs improvement. Having timely reminders for drivers on driving standards issues keeps the expectations of the management team top of mind.
Fleet manager tip number 6 – running campaigns can be a cost effective method of keeping those touch points live and getting the drivers thinking about their driving performance. A campaign to tell employees what their avoidable collisions are costing the business would be a good start!
Does the management team check on the implementation of your fleet risk management actions?
A routine aspect of managing health and safety issues in a workplace is a regular audit to check that procedures are being complied with. So why not do the same for fleet safety issues? Whilst audits are undertaken to check procedures required by the fleet operators’ licence, they are rarely undertaken to check collision prevention procedures.
I hope you find these tips useful. I send out risk management nuggets like this by email each week. If receiving these best practice ideas would be useful to you, get in touch at [email protected] and I’ll add you to the list.