There is a common misconception that there is little legislation governing van drivers and van operations. Now a new free toolkit has been launched
to help to cut through the myths to
keep drivers safe, vans legal and to ensure employers comply with not just road traffic legislation but also their Health and Safety at Work responsibilities.
The Van Driver Toolkit – from the Highways England Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention Team – is a series of free information modules to assist van drivers and their managers.
The toolkit is designed to help employers implement best practice to improve driver wellbeing, reduce costs, improve operating conditions, and ensure vehicles operate safely and legally.
The modules address the real issues that van drivers deal with, such as the risks of overloading; attention to vehicle road-worthiness; safe and considerate parking and drivers’ hours.
Mark Cartwright, head of the commercial vehicle incident prevention team at Highways England, said: “One of the things that we see in the van space is the ‘organically grown’ van fleet – the local business, the local entrepreneur that set themselves up as a gardener, or dog walker, or window washer, or plumber, or window cleaner – whatever it happens to be – and got good at it.
“Five years on, and there are 10, 20, 50 vans parked outside but they haven’t gone through the same learning processes as a truck operator would do, for example, and probably don’t realise the significant financial and reputational risk they are exposed to.”