Fleet Management Health & Safety update

Our friends as the Australasian Fleet Managers’ Association have provided a timely reminder and overview of  modern fleet management Health & Safety. Copied here for your convenience:

Fleet managers are an integral part of an organisation, irrespective of the internally or externally operated vehicle fleet. The role is a multi-faceted one, ranging from daily paperwork and reporting, to watching the horizon for future developments in technology, the automotive industry, finance, taxation, occupational health and safety and many other areas.

Depending on the nature of the business under which he or she works, the role sees increasing demand for flexibility, agility and responsiveness in that organisation’s discourse. The ability to necessitate change based on evidence and strategy is essential in a society of constant change.

Communication skills are important. Given the varying levels of inter-organisational involvement, being able to cooperate and engage with others in a range of departments, from finance and corporate to labour and clerical, strong inter-personal connections and understanding make for good outcomes.

These communication skills not only allow organisational functionality, they enhance business prospects and add to the company’s bottom line. A fleet that is kept up to standard, meeting and exceeding the expectation placed on it, and runs efficiently and effectively keeps the gears turning on all levels.

Likewise, staying in tune to the objectives, marketing strategies and mission statements of a business or projects within, ensures the fleet performs in the same manner. A fleet of poorly serviced, uneconomical and impractical vehicles, for example, would contradict a company’s commercial vision that emphasises environmental sustainability or corporate social responsibility.  A fleet manager must also be conscious of maligning with unethical business structures, brands or operations, and wearing the effects of another party’s poor reputation which can reflect on the organisation’s best interests.

All actions and relationships a fleet manager makes and develops also need the common interest of safety which needs to be present in every aspect of the fleet, no matter how significant. With safety as the paramount concern for a fleet’s operation, every area within an organisation operates at its optimum.

Scott Murray also provides an overview of the self-assessment tool for extra workplace road safety and fleet management health & safety generally:

To continually strive for the safest and most effective operation of a company or organisation’s fleet, assessing one’s performance is a resolute method for fault-finding, developing alternative strategies and mitigating risk as outlined in Chain of Responsibility. The Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) is designed for exactly that.

In the fracas of daily fleet management, it can become overwhelming to keep a handle on the overall performance and status of the fleet itself. With the fatal occupational injury statistics linked to the work-based vehicle fleet, it’s the responsibility of the fleet manager to identify and fix any holes in the organisation’s fleet operation.

Benchmarking the organisation against itself is a low-key but highly informative method for preventing calamity. Not only can the SAT cover the company as a whole entity, but it can be tailored to apply strictly to a certain segment, or specifically to the fleet itself. Making this investment actively demonstrates best practice and averts workplace risks.

Areas the SAT covers include the monitoring and investigation of at-fault crashes to put in place strategies to prevent similar circumstances in future. Having a system in place to select and recruit safe drivers, conduct vehicle and employee safety programs, plus identifying and conducting evaluations of programs, vehicles and employees/drivers again demonstrates a proactive safety culture and the ability to apply best practice in fleet management health & safety.

Having vehicle selection and procurement guidelines and conducting consistent fleet maintenance, recognising the risk-avoiding benefits of journey planning and safe routing for staff, and providing your organisation with informative reports and feedback on the fleet’s performance has inherent positive cultural safety benefits for the whole organisation. Knowing thyself is a powerful tool.

Plan and drive to stay alive – you can count on us to keep you up to date with current thinking on fleet management health & safety.


6 Responses

  1. Steve
    | Reply

    Good coverage on fleet management health & safety responsibilities. There has been a bit of related media recently but the hazard and the risk is vastly underestimated in NZ so guess it will take a few court prosecutions to catch attention and elevate awareness. The
    Envirowaste truck fatality should have made employers, contractors , leasing companies and vehicle service providers sit up and take notice but how many times does this have to happen before vehicle health & safety is taken as seriously as factory/manufacturing H&S? Is anyone else interested in this problem ?

    • Crash Management
      | Reply

      Thanks Steve, you raise some very valid points including the problem that it may take litigation to escalate vehicle health & safety to the forefront. It is frustrating and Crash Management continues to do all we can to raise awareness of the problem with fleet operators as well as direct to both the H&S consulting sector and also corporate H&S Managers. This includes significant investment in media and relationships with H&S professionals. Visit us in the expo area at the pending SafeGuard conference. See http://www.safeguard.co.nz/databases/modus/events/safeguard-national-health-safety-conference for more info and our prominently displayed logo!

  2. Debs
    | Reply

    I’d like to add to this. I don’t know what the SAT tool in the article is but am familiar with Crash Management, the great front-line response services and personalised repair management provided to our clients. Aside from VERY happy clients, the extra value for us is the detailed incident data reporting and the resulting analysis that very quickly highlights why accidents happen and who’s involve. The info is very revealing and by working with crash prevention tools has enabled us to help clients reduce their accident rate, thereby reducing fleet premiums. Everyone wins – underwriters, brokers and clients . Nice work Crash, it’s a great relationship.

  3. Shane Mitchell
    | Reply

    Health and safetys a bit of a run away train that’s created a ton of extra compliance for small businesses that don’t have the spare administration staff to deal with it and probably don’t have any or many fleet vehicles to worry about ‘driver safety’. Maybe better driving skills and stricter driver licencing is the answer as well as better roads. Corporates are better set up to deal with fleet vehicle health & safety but that hasn’t stopped car accident claims in fact the crash rate has shot up over the last 2 or 3 years. At the same time vehicle technology and driver safety systems have spiralled up too so its not the car causing the crashes its the drivers. time to do something about that!

  4. Adrian
    | Reply

    Very good article thank you. All company fleet management should be aware of this.

  5. Kerry
    | Reply

    More good info on the fleet fit theme ” Crash ” and an interesting read thanks. Good to know you’re keeping your eye on the trend horizon and watching our backs. Great service by the way, by far the best accident management service in New Zealand. But I don’t think Crash Management actually has any competition do you. Either way, hard to beat! Thanks

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