Employers urged to ensure drivers are comfortable returning to the road
11 May 2021
Author: Sean Keywood
Companies need to make sure their employees feel comfortable getting behind the wheel again as Covid-19 lockdown measures ease and more journeys return.
That's according to Red Driver Risk Management, which warned that having seen reduced mileages during the pandemic, many employees felt more anxious about driving again for business.
It has therefore compiled a six-question survey for fleets.
The questions are:
Are you expecting staff to resume driving for business?
Are you asking staff that have not previously driven for business to drive - possibly even in their own vehicle?
Have you directly asked your staff whether they feel comfortable returning to normal?
Have you directly asked staff about the effect that Covid-19 has had on their mental wellbeing?
Do you have in place a resiliency/wellbeing programme that all staff can access?
And do you have in place any training courses available to staff who are not comfortable in any of the above areas?
Red Driver Risk Management CEO Ian McIntosh said: "Duty of care has always been the foundation of good fleet risk management. But never has it been more important than now, and businesses need to be aware that the parameters of what they previously considered duty of care may have shifted considerably in the past year.
"Not only will employers have to spend more time looking after their employees' mental health, but they also have to be able to ensure productivity isn't affected.
"After a year of lockdown, many employees have been working from home and driving a lot less than usual. But as there is a resumption of more typical working practices, mileages will start to rise again and this brings risk with it, not only for drivers whose skills are rusty, but for those who are naturally more nervous anyway."
McIntosh said the questions could also help employers adopt a wider wellbeing-based approach to management, with Red offering a system to monitor this, as well as a specific post-pandemic training plan.
He added: "We know the pandemic has affected people in different ways - there are some who will be incredibly nervous about not only driving again, but meeting clients face to face.
"It is essential that as a responsible employer you can identify these employees and offer them help to adapt back to the 'old normal'."