Drivers report promptly any defects or symptoms of defects that could prevent the safe operation of vehicles and/or trailers, and that any defects are recorded in writing.
This article has strong links to the previous article which covered ensuring that your vehicles and trailers are kept in a fit and serviceable condition at all times.
This undertaking has two impacts and desired outcomes. One is for the company and the other is for the drivers.
It is the operators responsibility to ensure that there is a process in place for your drivers to report to you any defects found or any symptoms which might suggest that there is a defect either present or developing.
The system should be robust as well as easy to use. It could be in paper format or the ever growing electronic formats which more and more companies are moving to. Whichever system you use, the data must be able to be stored and retrieved as and when required which we will link to on a later article.
Training should also be provided to the drivers on how the system works and what their responsibilities are in relation to the system and how to get help and support if there are concerns along the way.
Drivers must be aware that whilst the vehicle is in their care, on the public highway, it is their responsibility and only their responsibility. That means, if there is an issue with the roadworthiness of the vehicle, they will be first to be fined or prosecuted and second, the company would be liable for allowing it to happen.
Drivers must understand the system and use it to achieve its intended results. It does not mean that drivers need to be part-trained mechanics it means that the drivers need to be trained on what defects are likely to cause an issue and our golden rule in relation to this is simple – If it does not look right it probably isn’t.
If drivers follow the system you have implemented, it is highly likely that you will have safe and compliant vehicles. If they do not, they could be leaving you potentially exposed to dangerous operations and breaching the undertakings you have signed up to when you first signed up for your operators licence.
If you need any assistance with the topics covered in our Total Compliance Fortnightly Focus, please get in touch through email@example.com or by called 0345 9001312.
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