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New Driver Induction Process
Following the vetting and driver assessment process, a thorough staff induction process should be carried out. The programme should be documented. It should include:
This process should give the driver the necessary information they need in case of emergencies, communicate a sense of responsibility, which should in turn be reflected in driving standards.
If you do not have a drivers' handbook, a sample ‘template' is included on our website
https://help.aviva.co.uk/risksolutions/motor-risk/driver/RS0002 for you to download and amend to suit your own operations.
An introduction to the vehicle should also take place. It should give specific instruction on all controls and instruments by a ‘competent person', as well as instruction on the use of any ancillary equipment, load security, manual handling assessment, accident procedures, security (personal and vehicle security), site rules, drivers responsibilities and vehicle defect checking and reporting.
If the vehicle is fitted with a tachograph, whether analogue or digital, all new drivers should be given a thorough briefing on the use of the equipment and the driver's and manager's responsibilities for the recording equipment, including cards and charts.
At the end of each Driver Handbook there is a declaration that it has been read, and that the contents are understood. This must be signed and returned to the fleet manager along with a consolidated driver induction record completed and signed by both the manager and driver. The driver should not be authorised to drive unless these forms have been completed and returned to the relevant department/manager.
Further guidance on driver inductions can be found at https://help.aviva.co.uk/risksolutions/motor-risk/driver/RS004
Nominate a Competent Person to carryout Driving Risk Assessments
As mentioned earlier, you are required as an employer to ensure that the prospective employee can actually drive and is not a danger to themselves and other road users. (MHSW) Regulations 1992, states:
"In entrusting tasks to his employees, take into account their capabilities as regards health & safety and shall ensure that his employees are provided with adequate health & safety training on... being recruited...and on... being exposed to new or increased risks..." (Source - Safety Policy Division; Health & Safety Executive 28/11/95).
Subject to a satisfactory result to the initial driver vetting and licence checks, a driving competence based risk assessment should now be completed in a similar type of vehicle to which they may potentially be required to drive. You must also ensure that the person checking the prospective driver is competent. Ideally this would be a qualified driving examiner, or alternatively a supervisor or manager skilled in the driving of such vehicles and fully conversant with the type of operational requirements needed to fulfil the driving position.
All driving assessments should be formalised, with a set criteria to follow which should include Highway Code, vehicle safety and load security. This makes it more objective and easier to score and convey to your H.R. / Personnel department. A written and completed driving appraisal is also another way of showing '‘due diligence'' with regard to Health & Safety matters.
It is also beneficial to make use of a written form as the driving risk assessment is carried to ensure consistency throughout all assessments. Should you not have a qualified person to carry out such road driver risk assessments then RAC Risk Management Services offers a task observer course. This provides detailed training for managers or senior drivers in both the process of conducting a structured assessment and how best to utilise both the assessment form and the information it will provide. The RAC can be contacted on 0870 606 2606 or you can visit our website:
For commercial vehicle drivers we strongly recommend that you ‘buddy up' new drivers with a more experienced driver for the first few weeks of employment. This will help to ensure that the new driver ‘starts off on the right footing' in regard to the safe operation of the vehicle. The new driver's skills and behaviours can also be assessed by the senior driver, whilst not under interview conditions. It is beneficial to make use of a written assessment form as the drive takes place as this will ensure consistency throughout all assessments. These written assessments should be recorded on the drivers file for future reference.
To maintain best practice, further assessments should be completed at least annually. Drivers displaying a poor accident record should also undertake a driving assessment.
Online Driver Risk Assessments
For company car drivers or in cases where a practical assessment is not immediately practical, you may wish to consider an online driver risk assessment. On-line driver risk assessments are a sophisticated, but quick and simple to use on-line tool for assessing driver attitude, hazard perception, knowledge, behaviour and personal exposure to risk as part of your pre-employment: induction process.
The assessments have been in development since the mid-1990s, through research and practical experience in the UK, Europe, Australia and the USA. The initial product development research, trials and user evaluations of the assessments were undertaken by the University of Huddersfield in the UK. More recently, several evaluation studies have been undertaken by Napier University in Scotland based on 8,000, 16,000 and most recently 26,000 drivers.
To date the highest profile users of the assessments include BT, TNT Express and Arriva Passenger Transport Services in the UK. A range of projects with other users is ongoing in several European languages (including French, Flemish, Dutch, Spanish, American Spanish, Italian and German) as well as in Australia, the USA and South Africa.
For more details about the assessments and how it can help you to manage your work-related road safety, please speak to RAC Risk Management on 0870 606 2606, who will arrange for a free demonstration. Whatever the case it must be remembered that this is an on-line assessment and where training is recommended then this should be completed to ensure you achieve the aim of reducing your exposure to accident potential through risk assessment.
In addition where commercial drivers are concerned, this should not replace a practical in vehicle assessment especially on light commercial vehicles being driven on a category B Entitlement, where you need to satisfy yourself that the driver is competent to drive a heavier, wider, higher and longer vehicle with different handling characteristics.
The retention of good quality, safe drivers, particularly in the haulage industry, is a real problem. Drivers are willing to ‘Follow the Carrot' and move employers for as little as 20p per hour extra.
To combat this trend, many employers now offer their drivers bonus payments. Most bonuses are paid to drivers who meet set criteria such as improving fuel consumption, delivering goods on time and undamaged, keeping their vehicles in pristine condition, handing documentation such as timesheets and tachograph charts in on time and have no at fault accidents.
The costs associated with making bonus payments can usually be recouped within the business because of:
Many fleet operators paying bonuses tell us that the scheme is self-funding due to the reduction of costs in the above areas. As an exercise, try and work out how much you as a company paid out in repairs, vehicle and third party damage claims and lost productivity, which either fall below your insurance excess limit or that you didn't claim for last year, you may be surprised.
Companies however, should also remember that any ‘bonus' scheme which incentivises the driver to drive faster or longer than the law states, is illegal. In addition to bonus payments, many companies run their own in-house ‘driver of the year' schemes.
Don't forget that many employees of cars and van fleets often enjoy the privilege of ‘private use' of the vehicle outside of working hours, this too can be emphasised as a ‘perk' when retaining drivers.
To summarise driver retention, it should never be forgotten that operating a fleet in a safe and efficient manner, taking into account the health, safety and welfare of employees and having a fair but ethical company ethos, also improves driver morale and driver retention.
Driver Vetting Series
Useful Motor Risk Templates are available for you to download free of charge - visit our Tools and Templates section.
For more information on useful products and services to help you manage your vehicles and drivers view our Preferred Suppliers
For more information on Aviva Risk Solutions, please call 0345 366 6666 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This document contains general information and guidance and is not and should not be relied on as specific advice. The document may not cover every risk, exposure or hazard that may arise and Aviva recommend that you obtain specific advice relevant to the circumstances. AVIVA accepts no responsibility or liability towards any person who may rely upon this document.
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