SMALL van fleet owners often neglect essential van inspections and should do more to ensure their vans are regularly inspected during their operating life.
We already know that heavy vans are the worst for failing the MOT test, and this failure to conduct regular risk assessments is a real duty of care issue, reckons Gain Solutions.
A decade on since the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act, businesses need to refocus their efforts on inspecting vehicles rather than waiting for the next service or the end of the contract, says the fleet management group.
Typical issues witnessed by Gain Solutions is on vans fitted with roof racks.
Robin Watson, managing director at Gain Solutions, explained: “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.”
Other areas of neglect that create a threat to road safety, include
• Worn or badly cut tyres;
• Severely cracked windscreens;
• Broken mirrors and lights; and
• Damaged seat belts.
Robin continued: “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 completed.
“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.”