Importance of a Fleet Risk Audit

Importance of a Fleet Risk Audit

A Fleet Risk Audit is defined as the process of gathering work related road safety information and then acting upon it. This means a complete comprehensive operation that covers all the company’s vehicles. This naturally is not as easy as it sounds. However many people are sceptical about the importance of such an audit and unfortunately they do not do it. The process is rather difficult and delicate as it involves maintaining a record that shows or demonstrates how compliance with legal and internal obligations has been achieved. The reason for such lies within the difficulty in the ethics of carrying out such an audit. In addition to that there is also a legal requirement to carry out a comprehensive fleet risk audit within the company. In this article we try to outline the reasons for one to carry out such an audit within his company or organisation.

Financial Costs

In a business, finance is definitely the main point of concern in any operation. It is because of this that many companies shy away from carrying out a fleet audit. They are oblivious of the huge financial benefits that come with carrying out the audit.

First for many companies minor collisions are of little concern, many consider them as inevitable. Many also assume that insurance premiums will settle any costs. However what many managers don’t know is that the average cost of repairing a car after a crash is £1200. In addition to that there is also the cost of associated actions which is said to be conservatively 4-5 times the real cost of repair. These costs coupled together could set you back a whopping £4,800 all the way to £7,200 every time there is a small collision within the fleet.

The costs now obviously make a strong case for a fleet audit. While doing this it is also important to ensure that you include any additional costs associated with very low level collisions that occur within your fleet. If you attach these costs with loss and profit principles then you are sure to get the attention that you deserve. Senior managers should take fleet auditing seriously as it will save a lot of money for the company in terms of repair and replacement.

 

What type of Fleet Risk Audit do you need?

Once the decision to carry out a Fleet Risk Audit has been reached it is important also to decide which type of Fleet audit to go with. While doing this the auditors should always aim to promote continual improvement within the organisation while still ensuring and maintaining conformity from a legal perspective. In this one can also set an internal standard that aligns with the objectives of the organisation.

The auditor should focus on the organisation and how it can build on the mistakes or flaws found by the audit. The main purpose of any audit is to detect any imperfections within an organisation that the organisation itself can correct and thus grow. Any audit no matter how thorough and comprehensive that fails to do this is deemed useless. With a fleet risk audit it is important for the auditor to increase within the organisation the awareness and understanding of critical road safety issues.

Significance of Third Party Validation

A third party could be very useful if one aims to get an unbiased view and a true assessment of the levels of risk that are present within the organisations. A third party brings a different view that has a lot of benefits for the organisation.

  • A third party is able to carry out an independent validation so as to reduce bias.
  • Using a third party also improves reputation for the organisation both internally and externally.
  • Many at times the third parties are experts on various subject matters that might be very useful for the organisation during the audit. They might also offer very practical solutions to certain issues within the organisation.
  • A third party will also offer independent quality assurance to interested parties.
  • One other great benefit is that a good report from a reputable third party can be very useful in the tendering process. It will give the organisation competitive advantage over other organisations.

Performance

The main objective of a fleet audit is to determine whether the organisation has a road risk policy in place. It is also to find out whether such policies if present are efficient and adequate. Such policies are very important for the organisation as they form the bedrock of a MORRTM (Management of Occupational Road Risk) programme. They are also crucial in outlining the correct procedures to be followed by employees in UK who use the road for work purposes.

The organisations should also provide such employees with safe driving materials to ensure their safety on the road.  While doing this the organisation should also come up with initiatives that enable the employees to benchmark their performance against key performance indicators and competitor statistics.

Efficient record keeping within the organisation is also key to the audit process. The HSE outlines that with good records the organisation can review all reported collisions no matter how small. This will enable the organisation to facilitate a sustainable mechanism for strategic planning of safety and efficiency goals. Such strategies can be instrumental in driving a change in behaviour in relation to road safety.

A fleet risk audit will also help in developing a framework of accountability among the employees as drivers and their managers will strive to make sure that they measure up to the standards set up during the audit. Such accountability seeps through the whole organisation and eventually leads to a strategy of involvement, ownership and most importantly boosts staff morale.

Performance Reviews and Follow up Audits

After the audit is done and targets are set it is important to remember that the audit programme will succeed only if it is followed upon, evaluated and has support from the top management. Having a monitoring system in place will ensure that the company stays on course. A key performance indicator will allow the organisation to determine what strategies are having a positive or negative impact on the organisation’s performance. These results can also be fed back to the corporate MORRTM system so as to help with assessment.

What to do next

  1. Audit your MORRTM policies and your current road safety management systems.
  2. Plan for road safety management reviews at least every 6 months to ensure that there is continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness in your procedures. It is also important to make sure that your systems are audited by a third party to get an unbiased view.
  3. Ensure that management and employees are trained on managing occupational road risk. Managers should also consider the impact of events which may increase the risk of road crashes.

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