With more and more businesses turning to home delivery as a means of getting goods to consumers, and putting on this amazing service with days, rather than months of planning, we’ve had some helpful guidance from Adrian, a Driver Risk Management Consultant to ensure you have not forgotten any safety measures or legal requirements:

Advice for businesses

  1. Are your staff insured – if they usually use their vehicle to commute to and from their normal place of work, but are now doing deliveries for you in their vehicles, they need business use cover on their insurance – Have you checked?
  2. Are your staff licensed – you must ascertain whether a staff member who is driving on your behalf has a full licence, don’t assume they have – Have you checked?
  3. Risk assessment – if your business employs 5 or more people, by law you must have a documented health & safety regime. Does this extend to your driving activities? – Have you checked?
  4. Driver Safety Policy – this is a business critical document for any business who have staff who drive as part of their work – Do you have one?
  5. Mobile phone policy – this is a number-one distraction and responsible for countless fatalities and injuries – Do you have a mobile phone policy?
  6. Fatigue – another major contributory factor in collisions. How are you managing driver fatigue during this time of high-demand?
  7. Employees using their own vehicles for business trips – if you have anyone driving their own vehicle for work, you have a legal responsibility to verify that:
    1. The vehicle has an MOT (if it needs one)
    2. The vehicle is taxed
    3. The vehicle is suitable for the job
    4. The vehicle is being serviced in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations
  8. Fitness to drive – do your staff have any medical conditions that might make their driving unsafe, like DVLA notifiable medical conditions – Have you checked?

The above are what I’d call the essentials, the last thing you want to do while trying to provide a community service and protect your business is to unwittingly break the law. Fines for a failing in your duty of care are based on a percentage of your turnover, the starting point fines likely to bring most businesses down. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer a fatality, and found guilty in Court for failing in duty of care, the charge is corporate manslaughter, this usually results in a prison sentence.

Advice for drivers

  1. Are you insured – if you usually use your vehicle to commute to and from your normal place of work, but now find yourself doing deliveries, you need business use cover on your insurance. Speak to your Broker or Insurance Company, explain what you are using your vehicle for and make sure you are appropriately covered.
  2. Is your vehicle in tip top condition – We must make sure our vehicles are in a legal and safe condition. With fewer vehicles out on the road you are more of a target for a stop and check by the Police. There is a fine of up to £2,500 per defective tyre (plus 3 penalty points per tyre)! – you must have at least 1.6mm of tread across the central three-quarter width of the tyre and it must be running around the full circumference too. Here is an easy way to remember how to do a vehicle check, use FLOWER, flower stands for:
      • F = Fuel – enough for your journey
      • L = Lights, clean, undamaged lenses and all working
      • O = Oil (don’t forget brake and clutch fluid)
      • W = Water – radiator and windscreen washer fluid
      • E = Electrics – wipers, washers, horn
      • R = Rubber – tyres and wiper blades

If you would like to do a more thorough check, use my vehicle check form, attached.

  1. Engine on, mobile off – don’t be tempted to use a mobile phone while driving, and remember, even a hands-free conversation will distract you from your driving.
  2. Social distancing on the roads – by this we mean always keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front, if they brake suddenly, you can react calmly. Keep at least two second behind the vehicle in front, double this in the wet.
  3. Speed limits – the roads may be quieter, but we must all still stick to speed limits. Take note of poor weather conditions and make allowances, more time and space being the answer. If you usually drive a car and now find yourself driving a van, be aware, on National Speed Limit roads vans are restricted to 50mph on a single carriageway and 60mph on a dual carriageway, that’s 10mph less than for your car!
  4. Seatbelts – you may be tempted to leave your seatbelt off because you’re hopping in and out of your vehicle, please don’t. Over 500 people die in road collisions every year because they were not wearing a seatbelt.

As a road safety professional, I care about people, and appreciate the massive strain businesses are facing, but you are doing amazing things, thank you. If you would like any advice about the things I’ve discussed above, please feel free to email me or give me a call, my advice is free.

Contacting Adrian:

Mobile: 07973 337 251

Email: adrian@adrianhideconsultancy.co.uk

Website: www.adrianhideconsultancy.co.uk

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