New Module

Add content here.

Driving for work is the leading topic of Project Edward 2020

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 16, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Driving for work is the leading topic of Project Edward 2020

The initiative known as Project Edward has this year Driving for Work as its leading topic.

After its start in 2019 as European Day Without A Road Death (EDWARD), Project EDWARD evolved into EVERY Day Without A Road Death and is going to be delivered in association with Highways England, Driving for Better Business, the Association of Road Risk Management (ARRM) and the charity TyreSafe to support the One Road, One Week campaign of police enforcement activity to be held this week, 14th – 18th September.

UK government figures show that in 2018 there were approximately 42,000 deaths and injuries involving someone who was driving for work at the time, with 82% of such deaths and injuries impacting other road users (not drivers). With over 20 million vehicles thought to be used for work, including those who use their own personal cars, this means the odds of being involved in an injury collision during the year are just 1 in 500.

During the police enforcement week, special attention will be paid to those who drive for work and to these particular areas:

  • Speed: many drivers do often undertake work with stressful work schedules that might make them prone to speed;
  • Maintenance: 5 million MOTs have been missed during lockdown including 1.2 million vans. Generally, around a third of vans fail their first MOT, so there could be 400,000 vans on the road likely to require critical maintenance;
  • Fatigue and compliance with drivers'hours checks;
  • Vehicle loading and overloading that can have dangerous consequences;
  • Driver behaviour in general, with mobile phone use, not wearing seat belts and not being in proper control of the vehicle as the top 3 offences;
  • Towing for work and doing it correctly.

To learn more about Project Edward, visit the website projectedward.org.

 

New Call-to-action

Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

Read More

Topics: Safe Driving, fleet safety, driving for work

Grey fleet management is the topic of the next HSA seminars

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jun 4, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Grey fleet management is the topic of the next HSA seminars

The HSA of Ireland recently made public the topic of the next Driving for Work seminars, which will take place in October, with booking details to be available towards the end of the summer on their website.

Grey fleet management is going to be the focus of the Driving for Work seminars, where experts will inform on the legislation and provide guidelines on how to manage grey fleets while staying compliant and practising safety.

 

These are going to be the scheduled seminars for October 2019:

Clayton Hotel, Galway - Wednesday, 9th October 2019

Crowne Plaza, Blanchardstown, North Dublin - Thursday, 10th October 2019

Fota Island Hotel, Cork - Wednesday, 23rd October 2019

Leopardstown Pavilion, Leopardstown Racecourse, South Dublin - Thursday 24th October 2019

 

If you wish to learn more about the challenges of managing grey fleets and the best approaches to fleet management related to them, you can have a look at these articles to get ready for the seminars:

Grey fleet policy: is this really necessary

Grey fleet management: how to meet legal requirements

Managing a grey fleet: a quick guide to a great approach

 

Vehicle Use and Fleet Management Policy

Read More

Topics: News, Stats & Facts, driving for work, grey fleet

Driving for work during the summer: what employers and drivers need to know

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jul 3, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Driving for work during the summer: what employers and drivers need to know

Summer 2018 is here, and it is certainly very apparent in Ireland and the UK, even if it is less so in other parts of Europe. In the UK we are expecting to hit 30 degrees and more. Ireland is also experiencing some very summery weather with unusually low rainfall and a couple of heatwaves possible for the upcoming few weeks.

 

While we do not expect the kind of sweltering heat that is typical of other countries, which invariably affects the vehicle and air conditioning performance, there are still actually a few things that drivers and employers should bear in mind while driving for work in the summertime. If you want to check that your team is prepared for real summer conditions, read on.

 

#1 - Summertime/holiday time part I. In the summertime schools close and people go on holiday. With the increasingly nice weather there will surely be more opportunities for everyone to hit the roads and travel, so it stands to reason that there will be increased traffic including cyclists or pedestrians. Make sure you plan enough time for your work journeys and anticipate potential peaks—having a look at the weather forecasts is a good idea in order to predict traffic levels, and cross-checking it with our Traffic option (powered by Google Maps) on the Live Map in SynX would be even better! As for the intensive pedestrian and cyclist traffic, make sure your drivers anticipate them and practice defensive driving.

 

#2 – Summertime/holiday time part II. Holiday time often equates to relaxation, and this can have an impact on professional drivers but also other drivers on the road, though in a different way. Those who are on holiday might feel complacent and drive with more abandon, or if stuck in traffic congestion (or not! As the case may be) they can become more prone to distraction due to the use of mobile devices. Professional drivers should be less distracted if in possession of the proper training and/or subject to a comprehensive fleet policy but still might need to be extra cautious; so the key phrase here again is “defensive driving”. Defensive drivers are able to avoid dangers on the road by using their safe driving skills: planning ahead for the unexpected, being able to control speed or react to other drivers without making assumptions about their behaviour are some of these principles.

 

#3 - Make sure your vehicles are recovered from winter wear and tear and ready for the summer. During winter, due to the extreme weather conditions, your vehicles might be subject to excessive pressure and wear and tear caused by winter driving. In the summertime, on the other hand, brakes and tyres might be significantly worn because of the increased traffic and consequent congestion and the slower driving. Make sure your vehicles are properly checked and prepared and focus on these two items and then give us a shout if you need to arrange your daily vehicle checks—our walkaround check app is definitely up to the job!

 

#4 - Coping with driver fatigue. The possibility of increased time spent on the road and also the possibility of increased temperature can lead to tiredness and stress. Keep it in mind when preparing your team for the summertime and remind them of the need for appropriate rests as well as the rules for driving hours.

 

This is what we advise companies to bear in mind when driving in the summertime—would you add any other points?

 

 

 Risks on the Road - FREE ebook

 

Read More

Topics: Fleet Management, driving for work

Driving over Easter: how to avoid undesired surprises - and just enjoy your egg ones!

by Eleonora Malacarne on Mar 29, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Driving over Easter how to avoid undesired surprised and just enjoy your egg ones.jpeg

The Easter weekend is just around the corner and most people are looking forward to some R & R with time off to make visits and enjoy a well-deserved break. If you are not among the lucky ones buying chocolate eggs or sitting with their feet up eating goodies, it is probably not so much down to watching your calorie intake but rather because you are one of those who have to spend the Easter break driving for work.


Driving over Easter can be riskier than usual as roads can become very busy and the rise in driving activity can be associated with an increased risk of potential collisions and accidents. On these particular occasions fleet drivers and motorists in general tend to be extra vigilant, as people tend to change their behaviour and adopt unsafe driving practices in order to reach their destinations as fast as possible. This might lead to dangerous motoring actions such as speeding or taking chances when overtaking for the abovementioned purpose. In this situation, fleet drivers who are active during this time in particular need to be patient, considerate and extra careful.


Regarding traffic, last year around 20 million vehicles were on roads during the Easter break in the UK, peaking on Holy Thursday and Easter Monday—post-work periods and the timing of school breaks especially impacted traffic levels.


In this particularly challenging time we would like to reiterate some good practices for fleet drivers:


#1 - Never ever overlook vehicle inspections: apart from being a fleet compliance requirement, doing your daily walkaround checks reduces the risks of having an accident and keeps the vehicles in a safe, roadworthy condition. Do not commit the mistake of skipping checks because of time constraints—if you need a quick and sound process to do this, sign up for our SynX Driver app and start doing paperless checks from your smartphone.


#2 - Always practice safe driving: wear your seat belts, avoid drinking and driving, maintain the safety distance when following a vehicle, respect speed limits and be patient. Do not follow the temptation to practice aggressive driving or take rush decisions that can lead to a dangerous misestimate.


#3 - No distractions: keep your eyes on the road even if you are queuing. Do not use smartphones or tablets while driving as something unexpected can happen at any given moment.


#4 - Drive defensively: keep an eye on other road users (bicycles and pedestrians included). Be especially careful at traffic lights, intersections or crossings.


#5 - Fight fatigue: take appropriate rest breaks and follow the EU regulations on driving hours.


We wish you a happy Easter—at home or on the road!

 

Free download - Driving for Work guide

Read More

Topics: Fleet Management, driving for work

1 out of 6 drivers died in an accident while driving for work

by Eleonora Malacarne on Nov 27, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Accident while driving for work

According to the November issue of the Health and Safety review, one in every six drivers killed in an accident while driving for work.

Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the Road Safety Authority of Ireland (RSA), according to the review, was quoting these statistics in order to warn employers of their responsibilities to their employees who drive for a living.

We have reminded people on multiple occasions now that employers do have a number of legal responsibilities towards drivers in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (for Ireland), in the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (for the UK) and in the European Union Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989.

The crux of all this legislation is that employers, in order to guarantee safety and be legally compliant, shall undertake a number of appropriate measures in the interests of the safety and health of their workers—for example, prevention of occupational risks, provision of information and training, as well as adjusting these measures in case of changing circumstances and improving existing situations.

A correct strategy towards workers protection would include on-going risk evaluations of the safety and health of workers, including, for example, the choice of work equipment, the chemical substances or preparation methods used, and the fitting-out of work places. But it could also take into consideration other aspects, such as accurately assessing worker's capabilities, introducing technologies that make for a safer work environment, or making sure only workers that have properly undergone specific and adequate training may have access to areas where there are increased work-related risks.

According to a 2010 publication issued by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), up to a third of all road traffic accidents are thought to be work-related. Over 800 heavy goods vehicle drivers are killed each year in road traffic accidents. This figure increases substantially if the deaths of drivers of vehicles under 3.5 tonnes are included.

 There are still too many incidents happening on European roads, and so much more we could do for ourselves or as companies in order to protect drivers, workers and other road users. Technology could be the perfect tool to strengthen your safety strategy and help you carry out a thorough risk assessment. Feel free to contact us or drop a few lines and we will be more than happy to assist you, and demonstrate how SynX can help.

 

 

safety risk management video

Read More

Topics: Fleet Management, Road Safety, driving for work

Why should I have a fleet policy in place?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Apr 25, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Fleet managers often have to multi-task, seeing that all vehicles operating comply with current legislation, maintaining drivers’ and other road-users’ safety whilst, of course, ensuring that the business runs smoothly and generates profits.
 
fleet
 
However, sometimes managers become bogged down with issues that could be easily avoided if the company had a specific fleet policy in place that dealt with topics such as:
 
• drivers’ responsibilities;
• acceptable use of company vehicles;
• the appropriate use of portable devices such as mobile phones from a safety perspective and other plug-in rechargeable equipment that impacts on the battery life;
• drug or drink driving;
• hiring procedures for staff;
• maintenance checks procedures and recording;
• incidents recording;
• use of fuel cards;
• implementation of technology such as telematics.
 
to mention just a few.
 
All the aforementioned bullet points as well as others that are unmentioned, but relevant to a fleet policy, should have the following characteristics:
 
#1 - They should be written in clear and plain language that is understandable by all parties involved; that means management, admin, drivers… all the company departments
#2 - They should comply with current legislation
#3 - They should be updated from time to time, not only to comply with changes in legislation but because safety devices, vehicles and ways of working also develop and evolve—nothing stays the same.
 
I recently received comments on social media from fleet managers who work in an environment that, apparently, has no policy in place or the one that it does have is not overly effective, especially with regards to drivers’ behaviour. Some companies who run fleets set up a policy merely to “stay on the safe side”, that does not actually involve communicating with drivers but is there in the event of an inspection (purely for audit purposes).
 
Having a fleet policy in place doesn’t only mean covering the necessary safety points from a legal perspective, but also implies:
 
• making sure everyone is aware of the policy, and is operating correctly (starting with drivers), not only by having staff read the policy, but having meetings to ensure everything is properly understood;
• that everyone understands the responsibilities for every role;
• the recording of maintenance and incidents;
• drivers’ licences, permits and health checks;
• the presence of clear procedures on what non-compliance with the policy means.
 
All of this might sound too much for a busy fleet manager, but what if having an effective policy in place with continuous assessment, training and feedback could actually reduce the workload that makes the responsibility of a fleet so demanding; leaving a manager with more time devoted to improving results and lowering costs...?
 
Vehicle Use and Fleet Management Policy
Read More

Topics: Fleet Management, fleet policy, solutions, fleet manager, driving for work

Driving for work and corporate responsibility

by Eleonora Malacarne on Feb 7, 2015 9:00:00 AM

 thumb - If you run a fleet of vans or LGVs Van-LGV Walkaround Checklist

 

We have already taken a close look at some of the factors and participants involved in the day-to-day business of organising and running a fleet: companies (employers), drivers (employees) as well as journeys and vehicles.
 
All the parties involved have their responsibilities and tasks in work related to driving, but employers, especially, have a clearly defined duty of care, both towards employees and the general public—in the case of driving this would mostly mean other road users.
 
Driving for work is considered a risky activity and the employer is clearly obliged to provide a standard of reasonable care by assessing and minimising the risks involved. In the event of accidents or damage, if this duty of care is breached and employers are seen to be responsible for it, or non-compliant with the standards, they can be left exposed to serious consequences.
 
UK based companies are also obliged to consider their duties as stated in the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007 and in the Health and Safety Offences Act 2008. In Ireland companies’ responsibilities are stated in the Corporate Manslaughter Bill of 2013.
 
Duty of care along with health and safety obligations are mandatory for all employers, who are therefore liable to legal action if it is demonstrated that they have acted in a negligent way regarding these responsibilities.
 
Professional drivers are required to drive in the safest way reasonable and, with this in mind, any possible risks should be identified and minimised.
 
In the event of a driver involvement with a collision or serious accident, both driver and employer can be prosecuted for non-compliance—negligence due to ignorance of the legal requirements will offer no defence in court. An accident or court action (not to mention the costs incurred from the proceedings); the possibility of serious health consequences or even death; the risk of losing a job and driving licence can all compromise a company financially, while also tarnishing its reputation.
 
A good safety standard provided by effective driver training, efficient maintenance programs and safety policies, not only protect drivers and their health, but also benefits employers. Fleet compliance to legal standards, therefore, makes all-round good sense and the technology used, along with a proactive approach, and mutual communication between management and drivers are also key to this aim.
 
 
 

daily walk-around checklist

Read More

Topics: Fleet Management, health and safety offence act, Safety, corporate manslaughter, corporate manslaughter bill, driving for work, corporate responsibility

Driving for work: factors and participants involved

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 2, 2014 9:10:00 AM

 driving-1
 Photo credit: slickimages via photopin cc
  
 
When you think of driving as a work related activity, in other words either your own vehicle or one provided by your employer is required during the course of your job, a number of factors come into play.
 
Road travel isn't exclusive to professional drivers, obviously there are all kinds of traffic involved, but if we concentrate on those who are driving for work, we might consider some of the factors and the participants involved in this activity: there are companies/employers, drivers/employees, and there are vehicles and journeys.
 
All of these play an important role in work related driving and it is very important to raise the awareness of everyone involved—highlighting the duties and the tasks of employers/employees and thinking about the vehicles, and the journeys, that are carried out.
  

Companies/employers

 
Companies and employers who manage vehicle fleets and drivers should set appropriate policies regarding driving. It might be necessary to create a driver’s handbook, perform a risk assessment and have a system in place for reporting collisions and defects.
 
Employers should ensure driving practices are properly understood as well. There should be company procedures for training schedules, and refreshers if needed, in order to guarantee safety and efficiency.
  

Drivers/employees

 
Employees who drive for work should have the necessary legitimacy and competence; companies should be able to evaluate these factors when hiring or assessing drivers on a regular basis.
 
A valid driver’s licence and relevant experience are clearly top priority, but it is certainly important to check other skills if the demands of the job are beyond those you would expect from a standard licence holder for any of the vehicles which are to be driven.
 
There should be work standards that have to be met by all drivers; employees should be qualified and receive adequate training, even very experienced drivers might need extra training on safety, or if they are most at risk (younger or high-mileage drivers for example).
 
 
Drivers should be familiar with a vehicle’s safety features and other safety factors, not only the obvious such as safety belts, but they should be able to check lights and tyres. Drivers should know about the risks of tiredness, how to secure loads safely, how to behave in the event of a breakdown. They should know their vehicle and its characteristics such as weight, height and so on.
 
The medical condition of drivers should be checked regularly, particularly eyesight. Those who are most at risk like night drivers should be scheduled for regular check-ups. Drivers should also be aware of how medications or other activities can potentially impair driving ability.
  

Vehicles

 
Vehicles should be fit for use and meet all safety standards. If they are hired, they still have to be checked; where safety is concerned, nothing should be taken for granted.
 
Drivers should have access to vehicle maintenance information and be able to communicate with the employer if the need arises. They should be able to make simple vehicle checks before travelling and flag any noticeable defects.
 
 

Journeys

 
When route planning, consider if safer routes could be used. Pay attention to the presence of bridges, tunnels or crossings; take into account possible weather conditions, in order to guarantee vehicles are fully equipped for eventualities.
 
Schedules and distances should be realistic and include appropriate rest breaks.
 
 
 
 
SynX driving for work ebook
Read More

Topics: Fleet Management, tips, professional driver, Safety, solutions, fleet manager, fleet, driving for work

Visit our resource page

Subscribe to Email Updates

Free trial - fleet management solution - blog page

Recent Posts

fuel saving calculator synx