When it comes to minor collisions, a lot of us regard bumps and scrapes as unavoidable. After all, that’s why we pay insurance premiums, right? However, did you know that the estimated average cost of a vehicle repair after being in a crash is £1,200 and the cost of associated actions is conservatively estimated to be 4-6 times higher than the initial repair value. That means that an average incident could cost your organisation between, £4,800 and £7,200, and that’s just for low level collisions!
Therefore, when making the business case for a fleet risk audit it’s vital you calculate the additional hidden costs associated with every low level collision that occurs within your organisation and attach a meaningful example of how profit and loss can be drastically improved through adopting a risk management approach.
Best practice suggests that external scrutiny highlights any gaps within procedures and policies which will help reduce risk and costs.
Andrew Love, Fleet Audit Consultant
There are many types of audits to consider when it comes to successful fleet safety management. Whichever you decide upon, the role of the auditor should be to promote continual improvement within the organisation whilst monitoring, measuring and verifying conformity from a legal perspective or an internal standard depending on the objectives of the audit. Good auditors must also have the ability to increase the awareness and understanding of safety critical issues.
The power of third-party validation
To obtain an unbiased view and a true picture of the existing levels of risk that affect your organisation, consider utilising an independent third party auditor as this has many benefits such as:
- Independent quality assurance to interested parties
- Independent validation to reduce bias
- Improved safety reputation both internally and externally
- Subject matter expertise
- Competitive advantage for tendering opportunities
The primary focus of a fleet safety audit is to establish whether the organisation has an effective road risk policy in place and whether these policies and procedures are adequate. An effective policy should form the bedrock of a MORRTM (Management of Occupational Road Risk) programme and sign post the correct procedures for all employees who use the road for work purposes. In addition, organisations should provide adequate safe driving materials and initiatives enabling them to benchmark their performance against key performance indicators and competitor statistics.
It’s also important to review all reported collisions and near miss incidents as this will facilitate a sustainable mechanism for the strategic planning of safety and efficiency goals. You can drive a measurable change in driver behaviour within your organisation by collecting, collating and distributing data on specific incidents.
Auditing your fleet will help to develop a framework of accountability amongst drivers and their managers, translated first into strategy and subsequently into involvement, ownership and a boost in staff morale!
Performances reviews and follow up audits
Having set targets, remember that a risk management programme will only succeed in the long term if it is monitored, evaluated and has support from top management. The creation and subsequent monitoring of key performance indicators (KPI) will allow you to identify what is having a positive and negative effect on organisational loss results and can also be fed back into the corporate MORR™ system. Conducting a follow up audit is an ideal way to perform a before and after comparison of results.
What can I do next?
- Have your MORR policies and existing road safety management systems audited
- Plan road safety management reviews at least every 6 months to ensure continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of your procedures. Have your systems audited by a third party to obtain an unbiased view.
- Train all management staff to develop knowledge and skills with respect of managing occupational road risk. Managers should be able to consider the impact of certain events which may increase road traffic crashes. Remember, evaluation is crucial!