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Graham Hurdle blog: 1 September - MORR: Making the right choices

Date: 01 September 2015

Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World

I have sympathy for anyone who finds MORR confusing. If you put 'managing occupational road risk' into your preferred search engine, a whole host of information pops up.

Process charts, flow diagrams, presentations, strategy documents. I recently put some time aside to see what was being said about it and felt real empathy for companies looking to implement something for their drivers.

At one end of the spectrum, it's made to look over complex - perhaps a tactic by companies looking to sell their consultancy services; the 'smoke and mirrors' approach. At the other end I came across misleading information that is no help at all if you are looking to decide what action to take.

For example, one web site said, "The law states you must provide driver training if you employ 5 or more people". This is simply not true.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states every employer must carry out a risk assessment. Yes, you have to put measures in place to reduce the risk to employees and others who maybe affected by their actions, but this may or may not require on-road training.

I'm therefore not surprised that some fleet managers bury their heads in the sand when it comes to MORR, yet not taking any action isn't an option. You 'do' have to demonstrate that you are managing driver risk, and not having something in place leaves you exposed.

Of course, it does require time and money. However, it is far simpler and less expensive than many imagine, plus you don't have to do it all at once. It's an ongoing process - not a one off project.

Check driving licences of all at-work drivers (including your grey fleet), conduct a risk assessment, produce a MORR policy and a driver handbook. If your risk assessment identifies a need for driver development then decide what type of training will best achieve your goal within your budget.

High risk drivers should have some form of on-road training, however this should only account for 10% of drivers or less. If you have far more high risk drivers, either you're very unlucky to be employing many of the UK's worst or you should scrutinise your method of profiling and risk assessing.

Place as much of your ORR information online. This makes it far easier to manage and update, plus enables an easier audit trail of which drivers have seen, and agreed, to the policy plus been assessed, trained and licence checked.

Once you are through the initial driver population, its then a case of ensuring all new drivers are taken through the process and that it is repeated in a reasonable time frame - many companies review licences quarterly, risk assess annually and it quickly becomes a very efficient, cost-effective process enabling you to focus on other business matters.