Top 5 pieces of risk assessment advice
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Keeping your driving safe on the road should always be your number one priority, and the best way to do that is with a risk assessment
In the push to make your fleet faster and more cost-effective, it’s still important to keep your drivers safe on the road. A fleet risk assessment is absolutely vital for monitoring your vehicles and drivers, teaching people – and reminding yourself – what to beware of.
Here, we get down to the biggest hazards that may be facing your fleet. Use these tips to guide your risk assessment, training and safety measures in the coming years.
1. Understand dashboard warning signals
There’s still a fog of mystery surrounding who can tell what an in-vehicle warning light means. One 2017 study has pegged the figure at 48% of British drivers – an astonishing portion. This knowledge gap could be the difference between a safe, regular journey and a sudden accident. So test drivers on how many hazard symbols they can identify, to minimise the risk of this happening.
2. Direct vehicle movements on-site
Every fleet risk assessment should forecast the likelihood of something going wrong in a load/unloading procedure i.e. actions by the driver, carry weight, unreachable heights, precautions for bad weather. Yet it also needs to calculate the chance of a slip-up in congested areas on your premises. Do HGVs, for example, have an entry point that’s far enough from other workers during peak activity times? Manage the movement patterns of staff and vehicles to prevent them from overlapping.
3. Prepare for inclement weather
We’ve alluded to this already, but when bad weather is going to strike – you need to know whether your fleet can adapt. Workers have to be equipped with the clothing, tools and know-how to mediate poor conditions. This may include giving them a de-icing kit for long winter journeys, or special guidelines for staying on the road during a gale.
4. Do a total sweep of fire hazards
Cabin areas can light up quickly at the slightest lick of flame. And the danger of fire doesn’t just come from a stray cigarette or overheated vehicle charger. No, there’s more to consider: clogged air ducts, faulty oil/hydraulic fluid wires and a poorly adjusted brake system can court disaster under our nose. A fleet risk assessment should factor in these hazards, to prevent a fire from breaking out.
5. Don’t force drivers to overwork
A business has to turn a profit – this can, however, lead to overstretching those you depend on, pushing their productivity past the point of sense. Drivers must avoid staying active for too long. Thankfully, there are several mobile apps to measure individual fatigue levels over the course of a trip. When it thinks someone is close to falling asleep at the wheel, the technology will send an alert. Use one of these software apps to manage your team and protect the safety of your staff.
The path has been laid for a robust fleet risk assessment process your business will be able to count on. Follow Allstar’s lead and pick up our fuel cards and expense saving services while you’re at it, so you have more freedom to focus on the safety of your fleet.