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Extreme Weather = Enhanced Duty of Care for Drivers

With recent snowfall following up a January of already extreme weather, employers, especially in the driving sector, have an enhanced duty of care towards employees. Below Chris McClellan, CEO at RAM Tracking, delves into some of the considerations to be made and tools that can help.

If there is one thing businesses and the logistical network of the UK is used to, it is the unexpected – especially where weather is concerned at (increasingly) any time of the year. Just last month, Storm Eleanor caused power cuts, travel disruption and flooding across the UK and Ireland. While those at home have the option to make alternative arrangements, drivers rarely have this option, with the ‘business as usual’ mantra demanding that targets and delivery rates are still met.

However, considerations about productivity cannot overtake staff safety. Those out there driving for work purposes often have no alternative and are facing increased risk from falling objects, as well as the weather itself. While the normal duty of care employers have for all of their staff should apply at all times, extreme weather puts a greater onus on ensuring that a full spectrum of real-time support is in place for those out on the road. Allowing considerations about profit or delivery to overshadow this should never happen – simple.

Vehicle tracking is just one key tool that helps facilitate this enhanced duty of care. It allows fleet managers access to information surrounding all alternative routes, live ETAs so if there are any delays due to extreme weather they can let their customers know as well as allowing managers to proactively monitor in real-time the safety of their drivers. This is a vital thread of employer responsibility that must be recognized and acted upon at times such as these. Indeed, technology that provides quieter alternative routes is available, which not only meets the safety needs of drivers but helps maintain the desired service level – an ideal combination that provides an added guarantee of efficiency as well as peace of mind.

Taking risks can be a good thing sometimes but where the safety and well-being of drivers is concerned, this does not apply! Anticipating the unexpected is never straightforward but by – mind the pun – keeping a proper track on their movements and safety as part of a wider approach to managing responsibly, lives can be properly protected.

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