The vehicle is a place of work

If you're in the business of keeping your people safe, you will know that WorkSafe/Safe Work deem a vehicle to be a place of work. The company you are part of has a duty of care to provide all its people with a safe work environment.

This applies to all employees who use either a work vehicle or any other vehicle that they may use for work purposes.

Vehicles used by your staff must be kept compliant and roadworthy. Any vehicle, company or privately owned, that is being used for business purposes needs to be warranted and fit for purpose. Every employer should have a Safe Driving/Vehicle Use policy that is accessible to all staff and is kept current.

Accidents do happen. You may not be able to eliminate driver/vehicle mishaps when your people are on the road, but you can take steps to minimise that risk.

So, what's needed to ensure you've done all you can to minimise risk and keep your people safe while operating a vehicle?

  • Make sure the vehicle is warranted, roadworthy and fit for purpose (including safety equipment where needed).
  • Educate drivers in the proper and safe way to use the vehicle, aware of all its features, and ensure they are appropriately licensed for the vehicle class.
  • Ensure every staff member understands the company Safe Driving/Vehicle Use policy and knows that they must comply with all the conditions in it.
  • Keep insurance details and the means to record an incident in the vehicle.
  • Ensure there is a maintenance process and that staff have the ability to submit vehicle faults or maintenance issues should they identify something.

There are also other steps you can take to further minimise risk to your people while they're in vehicles. Many businesses opt to install GPS-based monitoring systems in their company vehicles.

Gone are the days when monitoring systems fed dots on a map back to base, showing the manager where a vehicle was located and little else.

Today's systems are sophisticated and wide-ranging, delivering to people managers insights that help them make smart business decisions. Decisions about vehicle efficiency and utilisation, driver behaviour, and vehicle servicing are just a few of the benefits on offer.

Add in-vehicle navigation and messaging, vehicle booking, and safety alerts and you are well on the way to doing all that you can to minimise the risk to your people.

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