“I think our drivers could do with refresher on road signs – there might be a copy of the book in the office”.

That’s a quote left on our e-driver profiling feedback system. On the one hand it is encouraging that drivers want to further their knowledge, but on the other hand, it demonstrates how drivers seem to expect the employer to provide everything.

Yes, it’s true that the employer has a legal responsibility to risk assess and provide training to those drivers that need it, but doesn’t the driver have a responsibility to keep his/her self up to date with the Highway Code?

We will be in danger, very soon, of the employer having to spend all their time and money ensuring the driver has everything possible to keep them safe and fully trained in their use.

With that in mind, I’ve drawn up what some might call an excessive check list of key points for the ultimate safety conscious fleet manager:

1.     Hazchem course – so the driver can refuel safely
2.     Surveyors course – in case you need to use a warning triangle
3.     Mechanics course – so drivers can check fluid levels
4.     Manual Handling course – for loading those brochures in the boot
5.     Food Hygiene course – if drivers want a quick snack in the car (while parked of course)
6.     Anger management course – to avoid road rage
7.     Chauffeurs course – for when colleagues car share
8.     Three-week advanced driving course – to be sure you covered every aspect of driving
9.     Don’t forget to purchase a copy of the Highway Code and ensure all your drivers are able to read it, paying for eye tests for those who have problems seeing the text
10.  Finally, a course for all drivers on how to deal with the media. As undoubtedly the press will want to interview your drivers, about what it is like working for a company that has no time for anything except health an safety!

Joking apart, you sometimes wonder where we will be in five or 10 years time when it comes to health and safety and litigation, if a bit of common sense isn’t applied.

As a fleet industry, let’s not lose sight of why duty of care when driving exists. It should be a very positive initiative to protect the welfare and safety of your drivers. Not to suffocate companies with red tape for fear of prosecution.