Updated Government guidance on working safely with vehicles during the Coronavirus pandemic should be carefully noted by fleets as more businesses look to return to work.
First published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy on 11 May and updated on 19 May, the Working Safely during Coronavirus (Covid-19) document includes a section for vehicles relating to couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles and field forces.
The guidance sets out eight different areas for consideration and suggests practical steps for employers, employees and the self-employed to address specifically in relation to working in or from a vehicle.
Licence Check has welcomed the guidance and urged fleets that have business-related drivers who satisfy the criteria set out in the new guidelines to incorporate
The guidance stresses that a clear primary objective is that all employers need to assess and manage the risks of Covid-19 and sets out key areas including who should go to work; social distancing at work: managing your customers, visitors and contractors: cleaning the workplace; PPE and face coverings; workforce management and inbound and outbound goods.
The guidance also reiterates that most workers should still continue to work from home, but recognises that for certain sectors, such as construction, distribution and logistics, the nature of work will make it difficult for many workers to work remotely.
On the subject of returning to work, the guidance says that businesses need to provide clear, consistent and regular communication to improve understanding and consistency of ways of the new ways of working.
And it stresses the importance of developing communication and training materials for workers prior to returning to site, especially around new procedures for arrival at work.
General manager Terry Hiles said: “There are some clear guidelines that companies need to understand and follow across all eight sections of the guidance.
“For example, with regards to the section on ongoing communication to drivers, there is a paramount requirement to make sure all workers understand and apply Covid-19 related safety procedures that the company is introducing.
“Within our DAVIS platform we have the ability to submit policy documents and practical guidance to drivers, and for them to acknowledge that they have received any initial documents and any updates. Also, for them to confirm that they have understood it, thereby creating a clear audit trail.
“With regard to such new training material, it would also be possible to create a training module within our e-learning programme that clearly sets out, in video and/or written format, company policy for all drivers to see and confirm that they have understood the new policy. They could even have practical questions included to test their understanding and reinforce messages and policy,” he finished.