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It’s an often-overlooked part of operating a grey fleet, but it’s one that every business needs to ensure that they’re on top of. Do you know what your WHS obligations are regarding the operation of your grey fleet?

art-markiv-zAm1sdicGXc-unsplashGrey fleets appear to be an easy and affordable solution to a bigger and more expensive problem, and many businesses operate in the dark regarding their WHS obligations, but as we’ve discussed before, ignorance of the law is no excuse. You’ll be just as liable if an accident occurs whether an employee is in their personal vehicle or a company vehicle.

A grey fleet is a collective term that’s used to describe a fleet of employee-owned vehicles that perform company business. We’re seeing a lot more businesses these days, allowing their employees to use their own vehicles to perform company tasks. It could be a few minutes per day, a few hours, or all day long. Regardless of how long they use their vehicles to perform company tasks, you’re still operating a grey fleet.

What you may be surprised to learn is that your Work Health and Safety (WHS) obligations are the same for grey fleets as they would be if you were operating your own fleet of company-owned and maintained vehicles. In the following article, we’re going to look at some of your WHS obligations regarding grey fleets and some of the different areas you need to ensure that you’re aware of.

 

What are some of the areas you need to focus on regarding your WHS obligations managing a grey fleet?

There are a variety of different areas that you need to focus on when you’re developing your grey fleet policies and procedures. You should start with the drivers of the vehicles, the vehicles themselves, and finally company policies and procedures.

Driver Responsibilities and Requirements

  • Are the drivers fully licensed and incurred to operate a vehicle?
  • Does their insurance or your insurance cover employees using personal vehicles for company business?
  • Have they had any driving related convictions such as drink driving, loss of license, driving recklessly, or vehicle insurance fraud, which could be an issue if there was an accident?
  • Do they have any medical conditions which could impact their ability to operate their vehicle?

On the driver’s side, there are a lot of different factors that you need to consider if you’re allowing any of your employees to operate a vehicle while conducting company duties.

Vehicle Responsibilities and Requirements

  • Is the employee using a vehicle that is roadworthy?
  • Does the vehicle they are using have the latest safety features such as airbags, ABS brakes, emergency braking systems, cargo barriers?
  • Have you set a minimum vehicle age or vehicle requirements?

You will need to physically verify all these different factors as well as keeping a copy of all relevant information on file. Some businesses require employees that are utilising their personal vehicles to undertake a road-worthiness inspection or similar.

Company Responsibilities and Requirements

  • Have you got policies and procedures in place which govern the use of private vehicles?
  • Are your employees aware of the policies and procedures, and do they understand their responsibilities?

 

Grey Fleet Conclusion

When it comes to operating a grey fleet, it may appear to be a cheaper and easier option than managing a fleet of company vehicles, but your WHS responsibilities are the same if not higher. You’ll need to ensure that you’re on top of monitoring the grey fleet and have systems in place to handle these requirements.

If you’re purchasing vehicles for a fleet, you already know that they meet your requirements, and you’ve also got people that are responsible for any maintenance, servicing, and inspections.

Unless you’re vigilant about checking your employees and their vehicles, it can be easy for things to slip under the radar. Are you meeting your WHS requirements for your grey fleet, or is this an area that you need to improve on? If you have any questions about managing a grey fleet or your WHS obligations, please don’t hesitate to comment below or contact us directly.

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