That was the message delivered to all those who attended the recent Lancashire Group event organised by outsourced fleet risk management specialists, 3Sixty Fleet based in Manchester. The evening titled: ‘Protecting your Fleet, Reducing your Risk’ provided an in depth insight of the challenges faced by fleet operators and the logistics industry as a whole.
The evening started with some extraordinary video footage captured by an offside rear facing camera on a HGV that had a tyre blow out on the M25 a couple days before Christmas 2015. While the driver, who was decked out in full Hi-Viz safety clothing, was examining his vehicle on the hard shoulder, another HGV in lane 1 of the motorway veers on to the hard shoulder and almost sandwiches the driver between the 2 vehicles.
Amazingly, the driver escaped unscathed but the video highlighted the serious risks while stuck on the hard shoulder. This incident was backed up with the astonishing statistics that since the year 2000, on average, 836 people have been killed or injured each year on hard shoulders and lay-bys.
This set the scene for the whole evening. Andrew Drewary CMILT, Consultant Collision Analyst at 3Sixty Fleet, went onto to provide some very interesting and at a times amazing facts about the risks encountered by the industry.
It was explained the most common excuses for not having a robust fleet risk management and work related road risk policy are: cost; fleet insurers deal with all accidents and the company has not been involved in a major road traffic accident.
It was advised that fleet operators really need to take control of their own fleet risk management and not just rely on their insurers. This is due to the fact that insurers only deal with actual claims. Although interlinked, fleet risk management is a very different issue altogether and not just about collisions. However, some insurers are now talking to 3Sixty Fleet having seen how their services can provide a cost neutral added benefit and help potentially reduce their exposure to claims.
It was explained that the only way for fleet operators to fully understand their exposure to risk and the potential cost to business is to carry out in-depth investigations and analysis into every: collision, incident and near miss involving a fleet vehicle. The industry needs to understand the root causes for every risk incident to then be able to implement improved processes to reduce casualties and incidents.
3Sixty Fleet provide the personal touch during their investigation and analysis process as they formally interview and obtain a statement from every driver/employee post incident. This is done within 48 hours to ensure that the information obtained is current. They examine and interrogate all available information sources before providing a formal independent report of their findings within 7 days.
This allows any fleet insurer or self-insured fleet to have all the relevant information well within the protocol periods for Third Party claims ensuring exposure can be mitigated. However, more importantly, every area of risk is dealt with such as: collisions involving any Third Party or Third Party property damage; near misses involving a Third Party or employee; loading/load shift issues where a Third Party has been responsible for loading a vehicle; own vehicle damage/own depot damage; load and load shift issues where the operator has been responsible for loading a vehicle; vehicle rollovers; in service defects not reported by the driver; PG9s; Employer Liability and Public Liability issues.
Being totally independent allows 3Sixty Fleet to deal with all their investigations from a neutral stand point. Their processes fulfil FORS/CLOCS requirements for collision investigations too. All statements and reports provided can be used for civil and criminal matters, internal disciplinary and employment tribunal cases. Thereby saving £1000s.
More importantly, their services provide fleet operators with the information to improve road safety and reduce risk from future exposure. The savings made make their services cost neutral.
It was clear from the evening that 3Sixty Fleet take investigating and analysing fleet risk to a level that few dare to go and do not have the time to do this way. This was evident from the comments of those who attended.
Finally, attendees were advised to view the CILT safety video ‘Our Vehicle, Our Safety, Our Responsibility – improving road safety for vulnerable road users’ as this highlights the views of many within the industry and their approach to risk. However, 3Sixty Fleet showed that their services can change help the industry change.