With vehicle crashes representing the most common form of work related fatalities in Australia, driving for work poses a considerable risk for employees.
A high-risk yet often neglected work activity involves driving Grey Fleet. Grey Fleet refers to employee owned vehicles used for work purposes, in contrast to the vehicle being provided by the employer.
Australian legislation clearly outlines responsibilities and obligations to ensure safe work driving practices are undertaken, however safety management of Grey Fleet presents a range of challenges for organisations.
One example is the lack of inclusion of Grey Fleet vehicles within traditional organisational fleet management processes and activities, such as maintenance and safety management.
The National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP) in collaboration with multiple industry partners and stakeholders, identified a need for a Grey Fleet Safety Management Guide (GFSMG) to assist organisations to manage safety risks and reduce the frequency of ‘on the job’ crashes.
The GFSMG is structured with six sections: identifying Grey Fleet, managing risk, core safety elements, monitoring progress, developing and implementing policy and review, continuous improvement.
This framework will help identify an organisation’s Grey Fleet, highlight legal responsibilities and contrasts similarities and differences between Grey Fleet and traditional fleet management operations.
‘When we began investigating the complexity of risk associated with Grey Fleet, many organisations were unaware of the size and scope of their Grey Fleet’ said Jerome Carslake, Manager of the NRSPP.
‘In fact, some organisations were unaware they had Grey Fleet, only to later realise they actually had quite a sizeable proportion of Grey Fleet vehicles that had slipped under the radar’ Mr Carslake went onto say.
The GFSMG adopts a risk management approach and provides insight into identifying and addressing safety risks typically applicable to Grey Fleet.
‘We wanted the guide to be practical and able to be utilised by large organisations but also small business operators’ said Dr Darren Wishart of the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB).
‘For ease of application, the framework incorporates numerous case studies to demonstrate real world situations, implications and risk management processes’ he also said.
An additional benefit is the inclusion of extensive resources including adaptable, user-friendly templates, links to supplementary information and a fundamental legal component developed in conjunction with Associate Professor Tania Leiman of Flinders University.
Mr Carslake said that the legal implications are a multifaceted component of Grey Fleet, so it is especially important that organisations consider and apply this section to their operations.
The GFSMG is scheduled to be released on 13 October and will be available on the NRSPP website.
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