Building a duty of care strategy

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  • It’s important to look after your employees, wherever they are. However, employees on the road are more likely to encounter problems than those in a monitored and well-maintained office environment.

    A third of road traffic accidents involve an at-work driver, meaning that a duty of care strategy is essential for keeping your employees safe. Using data-led risk profiling gives you the optimum way to reduce threat. As a company, evidence of how you made sure you help protect workers and the bottom line is key. This is achieved through risk management strategies, training, vehicle checks, reassignment, disciplinary actions, record keeping and driver checks.

    Below we have five steps to consider when putting together your duty of care strategy:

    1. Keep an eye on the weak parts of your fleet

    Maintaining visibility on the aspects of your business that are potentially putting you at risk, like an older vehicle or new driver, will mean that you can support these aspects, and make sure you are working effectively.

    2. Never ignore a problem

    Staying optimistically ignorant or unaware of potential accidents is not an excuse. Starting your policy with HR you can measure, mitigate and overcome any issues that could cause you or your business harm. Furthermore, your business is never too small to not need a duty of care strategy; you’re risking more than you gain by not having one.

    3. Stay flexible to change

    If one of your drivers suggests a new issue or explains that the current policy doesn’t cover them adequately, you should look into it. Whether it’s extra training, policy changes or investigating questions to eliminate risk, it’s worth it.

    4. Have a contingency plan

    While some parts of your work involves hard data like MOT dates, a lot of your work will be with unpredictable resources – your employees. While you won’t be able to forecast when they will ask for holiday or phone in sick, you can have a contingency plan. Furthermore, having a contingency plan for bigger issues like a vehicle being stolen or your computer systems breaking means you’ll be able to keep running, no matter what.  

    5. Confirm everything through the board

    Some of your drivers will need to be reminded, and reminded, and reminded to comply with your policies. Some don’t consider the procedure important. Some will dismiss it as common sense, and while it will be based on such, drafting it up is still important. Make sure that your Board and line managers support and agree with your duty of care strategies – this will help implement it across the whole business.