April 24 2019 @ 14:36 by Steven Hugill
Safety industry entrepreneur Marc Atkinson has launched a new technology solution to help protect SME business owners and their employees from the dangers and hidden costs of driving during the working day.
Driver is a cloud-based risk assessment and training tool that analyses the driving requirements of a business and the vehicle use of staff to help manage employers’ legal obligations, under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), to their employees’ on-road safety.
It has been produced by Driver.online, based in Stockton’s Fusion Hive building, to mitigate the risk of SMEs where staff use vehicles in any capacity, including travelling to work.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, more than a quarter of all road traffic accidents may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time, with eight million people driving on company business every day.
In addition, there are 14 million vehicles that are part of the ‘grey fleet’ – those owned by employees and used for their business duties.
By assessing which employees use vehicles for a wide range of business-related tasks, and the associated risk levels, Driver produces a report, which highlights key areas of risk and a framework to follow to help employers fulfil their legal duty of care.
Driver assesses whether employees have the correct motor insurance for the work-related driving tasks they are required to undertake, verifies driving licence and vehicle data – through an interface with the DVLA – if they use their own vehicle, and the condition of the vehicle.
It also provides updates on when vehicles, either company cars or employee-owned, require servicing and road tax renewals.
The technology is the brain-child of safety specialist Marc Atkinson, who also operates National Safety Passport, an online health, safety and environmental awareness and competency system for high-hazard industries.
“Away from safety critical industries, such as the oil and gas or chemical sectors, driving is the most dangerous activity a person will do as part of their working day,” said Marc.
“Employers have a legal duty of care to protect employees from harm and manage the day-to-day risks of driving, no matter how trivial the reason to use their vehicle.
“SMEs, however, often don’t have the infrastructure to monitor and assess staff licences, insurance, vehicle-usage and condition of their car or bike, which inspired me, through the work we do with National Safety Passport, to devise Driver.
“It brings all the key information into one place that enables SMEs to quickly and efficiently assess the risks, while also providing their staff with training and knowledge that will better protect them.”