Duty of Care: What is it and Why Does it Concern you?
Some things are real. For instance, COVID-19, and Global Warming. Other things are less so… like the Loch Ness Monster, sugar making kids hyper, or my memory of my rugby playing ability… The latter are in fact fictions! In part because it serves the interests of some, but crucially, not all. As is with Duty of Care!
In 2007, the Government passed the Corporate Manslaughter Bill, which sanctions companies for breaching a duty of care. With it, all sorts of ancillary suppliers to the fleet industry went on a rampage of fiction and scaremongering; blinded by the pound notes in their pockets instead of yours.
The Fact Remains Now as it Did Then
You are more likely to win the lottery than be jailed under the Corporate Manslaughter Bill, due to a Driving at Work incident. Though, this does not mean you should be complacent.
The ‘teeth’ have always been in the Health and Safety at work legislation. Breach it, you could be in very hot water. Abide by it and you can actually save quite a lot of money! But with so much conflicting information, what do you need to do?
Driving at work is one of the most dangerous things an employee can do. Under the legislation, whether they are using your car, their car, a horse, or a skateboard, you have an obligation to ensure both employee and vehicle are ‘fit for the purpose’.
What Does That Mean?
Well, it does not mean you need to buy electronic licence checking, training, or telematics. Although, some of those may be good ideas…
The HSE dictate to meet your obligations. You must have a robust policy, a process to review and amend it, and an audit of its communication. You have to take reasonable steps, like checking someone has a licence. Insisting on them having more training than the law requires? No need. It could be useful for some, but not a legal requirement.
Of course, everything is immensely confusing. That is why we run regular webinars on the topic. To register for one, visit our events page and sign up, we will happily dispel all the myths in question. Besides my rugby playing ability… as the saying goes, the older you get the better you are! (Unless you’re a banana…)