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Construction businesses taking risks over driver safety

Businesses in the UK construction sector could risk falling foul of health and safety legislation over drivers and vehicles, new research suggests.

The study of 50 UK construction businesses found that more than a quarter don’t invest in driver training.

A study commissioned by Enterprise Flex-E-Rent on 50 UK construction businesses of all sizes found that more than a quarter (28%) admit that they don’t invest in driver training and around one in six (17%) fail to carry out driver risk management and risk assessments.

Among the companies that do carry out driver risk assessments, around two in five (37%) are carried out only once a year. Similarly, of those companies that do invest in driver training, nearly half (44%) only carry out training after an incident has been reported to them, and 28% only do so when they’ve received a complaint about one or more of their drivers.

The research also revealed that eight out of ten (83%) respondents said they plan to invest in vehicle safety technology in 2017. Among those companies, the most popular safety options are reverse warning alarms (being adopted by 59% of respondents), dash-cams (46%) and driver telematics, Bluetooth comms systems and blind spot cameras (all with 39%).

More than half (53%) of the companies investing in safety technology are doing so mainly to reduce accidents, although 15% say they’re doing it primarily because it helps them to win new business.

In response, Enterprise Flex-E-Rent has identified areas where the construction sector could potentially do more to improve transport safety. These include prioritising risk assessment planning for all drivers, identifying risk areas which are pertinent to the business, monitoring and recording incidents over time to provide risk analysis, ensuring any third parties with which your business sub-contracts have similar processes in place and creating a process for ensuring the safety of part-time employees.

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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