There have been a number of surveys reporting the uptake of fleet risk management and duty of care in the fleet sector, all showing that there is a growing commitment by companies to put policies and procedures in place.

However, some of the figures seem to vary quite dramatically. In two recent reports, one stated that almost all companies had some form of fleet risk strategy in place whereas another stated that only 50% had offered any form of driver training.

Whilst these 2 surveys are touching on different aspects of duty of care, it raises the question as to how well companies understand what it is they should be doing under the ‘fleet risk management’ umbrella.

From my discussions with fleet operators over the years, one of the key issues is that everyone has their own interpretation of what it is, and what they need to do. Ask one company about their fleet risk strategy and they will say that they have policies and procedures in place, that all drivers have been risk assessed, that some form of intervention (such as driver training, online training or classroom training) is provided to those drivers who need it and that driving licences are checked online…and so it goes on. Others will also tell me that they’ve ‘dealt’ with it when in reality all they’ve done is risk assessed their drivers. Apart from that, no action has been taken, not even with known high risk drivers, and there is no record as to whether drivers are entitled to be driving at all. In health and safety terms, that’s the equivalent of identifying that a fire door is blocked and doing nothing to resolve it.

But when each of these companies is asked to respond to a survey, both will tick the box to say ‘they have it in hand’.

Over time, we will see a consistent view on what fleet risk management is. However as this market continues to emerge, and lets accept it is still relatively new in the scheme of things when compared to more established fleet sector services, the surveys will start to report more cohesive findings. Yet in the meantime, let’s make sure we do not become complacent that this issue is truly being addressed across our market because the harsh reality is that I believe we have a great deal more work to do in educating the market to its importance and the steps they need to take.

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