Road Safety specialists are holding a free event to help South Yorkshire businesses protect their staff that drive for work, after recent research highlighted local companies did not have appropriate policies and procedures in place.
Out of fifty-eight South Yorkshire businesses questioned[i]:
• One in three did not have a process in place to check driving licences
• Only two in ten had processes in place to check the legality of insurance cover for drivers using their own car for work purposes (known as the ‘grey fleet’)
• Only one in four had a policy that covered both company vehicles and grey fleet
• Seven out of ten had not completed a formal risk assessment relating to ‘driving for work’
The Eco-Business Driving event organised by Local Sustainable Transport Fund body Inmotion!, together with Sheffield City Council’s Road Safety Section and Doncaster based e-Driving Solutions, aims to provide companies with information about the duty of care that they have for employees who drive for work purposes relating to the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Businesses at the event will be able to register to take part in the Government-backed Eco-Business Driving scheme - a free scheme that provides expert advice and guidance to improve road safety, reduce fleet fuel and accident related costs, to reduce the impact of company vehicles on the environment and to ensure compliance with current legislation.
eDriving Solutions Director of Research and Evaluation, Ian Edwards, said: “Research into the Eco-Business Driving Scheme to date clearly demonstrates the risks organisations are taking with regards to driving at work. Over 90% of the companies we visit do not realise that their Health and Safety policies and practices have to relate to driving activities in the same way that it applies to all their business activities.
“Collision rates of business drivers are up to 30-40% higher than those of private drivers[ii]. When companies do not adequately provide a duty of care to their staff, the penalties can be severe. Individuals and companies could find themselves open to criminal Corporate Manslaughter charges and unlimited fines. The Eco-Business Driving scheme is designed to refocus employees’ attention to the road to improve safety, as well as their environmental driving credentials.”
Since launching in September 2013, over 2,000 drivers from a range of industry sectors and sizes have completed the Eco-Business Driving scheme and reported significant benefits as a result.
South Yorkshire Housing Association Limited (SYHAL) registered for the scheme in January 2014. Stuart Bingley from SYHAL Transport and Stores, Neighbourhood Environmental Action Team, said: “All 23 of our drivers that took part gave excellent feedback and our initial figures are showing an increase of approximately 5% on miles per gallon achieved by our vehicles. That’s almost a £2,500 saving on our yearly fuel spend and almost 2,000 litres less fuel. We anticipate further savings on maintenance costs, especially tyres, on the 16 vans that we currently use.”
The Eco-Business Driving scheme breakfast event is open to companies across South Yorkshire and takes place on 22 September at the Tankersley Manor Hotel, from 8:30am to 10:30am. Businesses can register for a place by emailing the Inmotion! team at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit inmotion.co.uk/schemes/Eco-Business-Driving/
[i] Sample size is 58, covering all size of business and from a range of industry sectors
[ii] Source: Department for Transport