You visit your distribution center in the Midlands. You travel farther afield to tour your production facility in Asia. You join your executive team for senior leadership meetings on the Continent. As the Director of Health and Safety for your company, you are attentive to the duty of care responsibility your organization has for its workers. Have you considered your largest office of all?
It’s one of the riskiest locations of all for your workers. It is the company cars that your organization has covering the motorways and back roads across the country.
The company car has long been an integral piece of work equipment. Since milk was delivered door to door, it has been an extension of the workplace. The role of the company car has grown dramatically in the past 10 years, with the explosion in the use of mobile devices and other electronic devices, leading to a rapid increase in mobile workers and mobile employees.
This company car risk to your business from these mobile workplaces needs your attention from a health and safety perspective. A workplace must establish strong policies and procedures for mobile workforce management, including driving policies for mobile workforce. It is now a necessity for a business to have a strong safety program and driving policy to educate their workplace on safe driving practices, safety policies, highway safety, road safety and the dangers associated with mobile device usage while operating a motor vehicle. The greatest share of fatalities in the workplace occurs as a result of motor vehicle accidents. It is estimated that one in three road traffic accidents involves someone who is at work at the time of the accident.
Here is a list of risk control measures you can consider for your company car policy and mobile workforce management policies:
- penalties in the event of “fault” claims/accidents
- defensive driver training
- vehicle maintenance and inspection
- selection of safe vehicles
- selection of safe and healthy drivers (i.e. regularly checking Motor Vehicle Records, and testing for drugs and alcohol)
- safe-driving schedules
However, the single greatest measure you can take to reduce company car risk and improve driver safety is eliminating mobile distractions. Employee distracted driving is the cause of a bulk of commercial auto accidents and studies have shown it is more dangerous than drunk driving. With the increasing use of technology and apps available on today’s mobile device, texting while driving is just one of the distractions leading to a critical decrease in traffic safety and safe driving. That’s why it’s so important to eliminate mobile distractions before they start.
The company car will continue to be an integral part of doing business, just as it has been for years. It’s your job to protect these mobile workplaces and a great place to start is to eliminate the liability, cost and expense of distracted driving caused by mobile devices. Only then can you be a sure the same company policy and safety protocols that you strive to maintain inside your company.