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Fleet Management

Published by Safety Net Team

November 21, 2022

The UK has one of the largest vehicle fleet markets in the world. One of the fundamental principles of good fleet management is that vehicles are provided to help the business achieve its corporate objectives. For some companies, vehicles will not be an issue, but for others, cars and vans have a significant role in the operations of a company, and remuneration of employees.
This topic covers the management and administration of fleet vehicles. Measures to increase fuel efficiency can be found in the Fleet Fuel Management topic. The Company Car Use topic covers wider issues around business car use including costs and taxation.
Employers’ Duties
Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974
The Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 (HSWA) requires employers to:
• ensure, as far is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees
• provide safe plant and systems of work, which includes vehicles driven by employees on company business
• ensure the safe use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances; this applies to anything being carried in a vehicle in connection with work
• provide information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure safety, including while driving
• provide a safe working environment, especially regarding facilities and arrangements for the welfare of employees at work
• produce a health and safety policy, which must be communicated to employees and address all the organisation’s health and safety issues, including occupational driving
• inform, instruct, train or supervise the employees’ work activities to ensure compliance
• ensure those not in their employment do not come to harm, eg other road users.
Road Traffic Acts 1991 and 1988
The Road Traffic Act 1991 defines the offence of “causing or permitting” acts which lead to an offence by another person. This includes employers, so the duty under the Act is to not “cause or permit” employees to break any road traffic laws.
The Road Traffic Act 1988 makes it an offence to permit anyone to drive a vehicle other than in accordance with a driving licence for that class of vehicle.
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) make risk assessments, including work-related driving activities, mandatory.
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) apply to vehicles that are not privately owned. However, more specific road traffic legislation does take precedence over these regulations when the vehicles are used on public roads.
Under PUWER, employers have a duty to:
• maintain all work-supplied tools and equipment, including vehicles, in an efficient state, good working order and in good repair
• assess the risk of using the vehicle, including ergonomics and manual handling
• minimise the identified risks as far as reasonably practicable
• provide appropriate information, instruction and specific training.
Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007
These regulations provide the basis of prosecution of businesses which demonstrate serious failings in safety management, which result in death which, in the case of driving, means the driver, passengers and all other road users.
The Act introduces an important option for certain very serious senior management failures which result in a fatality. Prosecutions will be of the corporate body, not individuals, although the ability to prosecute directors or other managers and employees under health and safety law or the general criminal law, in appropriate cases, will be unaffected.
The corporate body itself and individuals can also still be prosecuted for separate health and safety offences.
These regulations cover a wide range of basic health, safety and welfare issues. These include use of vehicles on public roads as well as within the workplace.

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