A number of fleets are increasingly calling attention to risk management in order to look after employees and minimise all on-the-job risks. This is due to the administrative and legal costs that may be incurred in the event of a serious incident. Fleets face the threat of fines and drastic increases to insurance premiums following an accident. Lives might be lost if an effective risk management programme is not in place. Bob Holbrey, technology director for fleet management specialist, FMG, said: "Vans and heavy goods vehicles have made big strides forward in this area in recent years, but company car fleets still suffer from a poor attitude in many instances. "The industry has to realise risk management is here to protect the company, the driver and the community they live and work in." Risk management also applies to grey fleets. Regardless of whether or not fleet operators directly own the vehicles their drivers use, managers have a legal obligation to safeguard their staff and ensure they are equipped with the necessary tools and training to avoid road incidents. Roslyn Cumming, of road safety charity, Brake, concurs that "risk assessment is [now] a fundamental part of fleet management". Fleet operators have three options to choose from when outlining their risk management policies:

  • Arrange for an external audit to analyse fleet risk and compliance with the law.
  • Arrange for an audit by the British Standards Institution (BSI) _ the newly introduced BS ISO 39001 certificate is a useful way of demonstrating that road safety is a priority.
  • Thorough self-assessment _ online assessments can be made to highlight flaws in fleet risk strategy.

However, the business reality is that every fleet has different facets and requires a tailored solution from business to business. Mr Holbrey added: "When looking at risk assessment, we have to take in a vast amount of information so we can deliver a logical response. "It's a mix of finding the right products and processes to be compliant with legislation and a company's needs."