The Van Safe accreditation scheme was launched last January 31st at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin. This new programme aims at setting up a real code of excellence targeting LCVs in Ireland, in an attempt to set the standard for what is probably the most diffused vehicle type on Irish roads in the logistics sector.
How is the Van Safe Accreditation Scheme going to work?
The Van Safe programme codifies the best standards of practice recommended to ensure the safe operation of van fleets, regardless of size or industry sector. The programme has a continuous audit process: those who sign up for it accept to undertake an audit within 90 days of their admittance to the scheme. Such an audit would be in compliance with the Van Safe Code. If after the 90 days there is a failure to reach the standards of compliance, the signatories would receive feedback and redo a chargeable audit after 90 days, with the possibility of undertaking another one after 90 days more. After this final step (or before if no further audits are needed), the signatories would be probationary members. Probationary members would then only be audited on an annual basis.
From left to right: Andrew Lyle, Operations Director at Medicall, John Harrington, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Transpoco, Jonathan Hehir, MD at Insuremyvan.ie, Deirdre Sinnott McFeat, Senior Inspector at the Health and Safety Authority of Ireland, Aidan Flynn, GM at FTA Ireland, Seona Farrell, Enprova, Paul Dunn, Head of Partnerships and Marketing at Merrion Fleet, John Forde, Inspector, Road Safety Authority. Image © Fleet Transport - fleet.ie.
What specifically is included in the Van Safe Accreditation Scheme that makes up the audit?
These are the complete sections of the Van Safe code:
- Vehicle and equipment maintenance
- Pre-use defect checks
- Maintenance cycles
- Safe working environment
- Risk analysis
- Loading requirements
- Driver and passenger protection
- Carriage of external loads
- Speed limiting
- Towing vehicles
- Vehicle standards
- Vehicle appearance
- Vehicle taxation
- Vehicle insurance
- Annual testing
- Vehicle administration
- Driver licensing and competence
- Licence validity
- Fitness to drive
- Driver induction
- Driver audit
- Driver training
- Driver behaviour
- Drivers’hours and working time
- Speed limits
- Mobile equipment and devices
- Other role specific legislation
- Driver identification
- Incident monitoring, investigation and action
- Sustainable operations
Applying for the accreditation scheme would benefit companies in their development as well as helping them to standardise best practice policies and gain savings through compliance, lowered fuel consumption, reductions in insurance claims and global costs.
“Daily vehicle checks and preventative maintenance programmes that are undertaken bring with it their own benefits,” says Aidan Flynn, general manager at FTA Ireland.
With the common aim of supporting Van Safe accreditation from differing perspectives, presentations during the event covered different but relative topics, and were made by John Harrington (Transpoco), Deirdre Sinnott McFeat (Health & Safety Authority), John Forde (Road Safety Authority), Paul Dunn (Merrion Fleet), Jonathan Hehir (Insure My Van), and Shauna Farrell (Enprova).
The event also hosted Andrew Lyle, Operations Director at Medicall, the private ambulance service who became the FTAI’s first Van Safe accredited operator. “The good news, we were able to share with our customers, while morale within the management and staff was at an all-time high and enabled us to become more focused,” he said.