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Driver Vetting and Induction Procedures - Agency Drivers
The recruitment of temporary drivers might be needed from time to time as the logistical needs of the business change.
Temporary drivers tend to be sourced through specialised agencies. These agencies have come in for criticism over the years because of their blasé attitudes and the quality and skill of their drivers. However today, the vast majority of agencies and their drivers are competent, qualified and experienced.
From our experience in the fleet industry we still encounter a view that agency drivers are more likely to have accidents. However this need not be the case, here are some of the reasons why agency drivers may be more prone to accidents, and some suggested actions which may assist both the operator and the agency to better manage the driver and reduce the increased exposure to accident potential through improved understanding.
- Lack of driving experience
- Lack of experience driving certain vehicle types
- Recruited at very short notice with no vehicle induction
- Unreasonable journey time schedules set by company
- Allocated the ‘old vehicle' that no one else wants to drive
- Allocated the ‘route' that no one else wants
- Poor or no safety policies or training in place
- Employing drivers at very low rates of pay. "Pay peanuts, get Monkeys" philosophy
- No or limited assessment of drivers and their suitability to fulfil your contract needs
To ensure that you steer clear of the problems listed above, you need to adopt your own policies and procedures with regard to hiring agency staff.
Start by ensuring that the agency you use is legitimate and has well documented and written vetting policies and training procedures with regard to basic Health & Safety.
To ensure that you clearly specify your driver requirements to the agency, we recommend you consider the following:
- Set a minimum length and type of driver experience required, i.e. 2 years LGV C+E / ADR, Minimum age of 25 years
- Set a driver's physical profile (does the job demand specific/heavy manual handling etc)
- Set down specific details of the type of vehicle and operation the position will demand i.e. Tipper vehicle, Multi-drop deliveries, different site rules, code of conduct and H&S requirements etc
- Ensure that drivers and their licences are vetted, taking in to account previous employment references
- Ensure that they pay a fair market rate - remember, ‘Peanuts & Monkeys'
Managing Agency Drivers
Your company also has a major responsibility for managing agency drivers effectively. To do this you should follow the best practice guidelines below.
- Ensure that you plan in advance for your busy periods, obtaining agency drivers before the event
- Develop your written policies and requirements for the job, including delivery routes, codes of conduct, health & safety, vehicle/driver requirements and specific skills etc
- Have a clear working partnership with the agency, identifying and pre-vetting them prior to use
- Ensure you pay a fair rate to the agency to obtain ‘quality' drivers with the relevant experience and qualifications
- Build up a ‘log' of competent, trained and previously used, agencies and their drivers for future use at short notice
- Ensure that you also vet the agency driver yourself (using a suitably ‘competent person'), checking and taking a copy of their original driving licence every time you use them and have them complete the Agency Drivers Questionnaire in full (Appendix 1 Attached)
- Carry out a driver competence assessment on the road (using a suitably ‘competent person'), taking into account any additional ancillary equipment that they may be required to operate such as crane operations, refrigeration systems, tail-lifts, communication or on board electronic recording systems
- Give adequate training and a thorough induction of your company's policies and procedures
- Keep records of all training and assessments completed for both legal and health and safety reasons
- Above all else, make the driver welcome; avoid giving them the worst vehicle and the complicated route none of your regular drivers want. Remember agency drivers may only be with you for one or two days, so keep the routes simple, the less additional problems the driver has to worry about the more they can concentrate on the primary task, that of driving safely, and delivering your goods.
You can find further information on ‘agency drivers' on our Knowledge Store website https://broker.aviva.co.uk/documents/view/goods_vehicle_drivers_handbook_supplement_rs003.pdf
Driver Vetting Series
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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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