Van owners neglecting essential in life inspections, says Gain Solutions
Business owners and
companies, with vans on their fleet, are ignoring important elements of their
duty of care responsibilities and failing to regularly conduct thorough risk
assessments, according to Gain Solutions.
A decade on since the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate
Homicide Act and despite an initial flurry of action, businesses need to
refocus their efforts on inspecting vehicles rather than waiting for the next
service or the end of the contract, according to the company.
While issues like driving and handheld mobile phone usage have grabbed
attention, other operational issues often are neglected, it is claimed. One
such example witnessed by Gain Solutions is on vans fitted with roof racks.
Robin Watson, managing director at Gain Solutions, said: “In order to ease the
loading, drivers are walking on the roof panels. This creates a risk of
employees falling from the roof, resulting in injury or death. Additionally,
when it comes to remarketing the van, the only viable option will be a costly
replacement of the roof panel.”
Gain Solutions says it has carried out more than 40,000 vehicle inspections for
clients wanting to defleet their cars and vans.
The company said it
had also observed other areas of neglect that created a threat to road safety,
including worn or badly cut tyres, severely cracked windscreens, broken mirrors
and lights as well as damaged seat belts.
Gain Solutions offers in-service inspections, carried out on a frequency to
suit the mileage and use of the vehicle allowing the company to address
condition issues quickly and resolve poor or unsafe working practices.
Mr Watson said: “Typically these vans have been worked hard for three or four
years, while on lease or contract hire and in many cases drivers have been
given the responsibility to regularly check the condition of their own vehicle,
but in practice; after a long working day and week, this often doesn’t get
“Often when we inspect these vans at defleet, the condition and subsequent
recharges are way higher than they needed to be, especially if the condition
and safety-related items were regularly appraised during their time on the
fleet. In addition, we often record the condition of items that could pose
danger and subject the driver or the senior management to prosecution, in the
event of an accident.”