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Getting ‘smart’ with van maintenance to avoid road safety risks

As an employer or self-employed person, you are responsible for assessing the risks to health and safety in your business. Risk assessment for any work-related driving activity should follow the same principles as for any other work activity.

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In a world where statistics are generated for every aspect of business in order to develop, it is common to seek analysis to achieve a stronger performance. Sometimes a stronger performance can have huge ramifications on a human level, especially when you consider safety and reduce risk

One sector that has had a substantial growth in analysing facts and figures to show improvement is the sector is the transport industry. A particular focus in this industry has been placed on Vans and the control methods put in place

As an employer or self-employed person, you are responsible for assessing the risks to health and safety in your business. Risk assessment for any work-related driving activity should follow the same principles as for any other work activity.

The DVSA and the transport industry are working together to encourage van owners and drivers to become “Van smart” by becoming better at maintaining their vehicles to improve safety. The DVSA is doing this by highlighting the road safety risks associated with poor maintenance and overloading.

Operating a poorly maintained van could result in an accident. Making sure these vehicles are regularly serviced and maintained will help goods and services reach their destination – promoting a reputation for reliability and increasing road safety.

The Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders produced a report for 2015 in which over two thirds (68%) of the 10,800 vans stopped by the DVSA on the roadside were reported to have a serious mechanical defect. More than nine out of every ten vans were considered to be overloaded and therefore deemed not safe for the road.
Furthermore, UK van owners are risking increased running costs, extended vehicle downtime periods and potentially a decrease in the overall resale value of their vehicle by not looking after their van properly.

 

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The DVSA have created a wide range of tools to help encourage van owners and users to ensure their use of the road is safe and legal.

The tools include:

  • Routine walkaround checks to highlight mechanical areas of concern
  •  Essential information on weight limits and driving hours
  •  Instructional diagrams of daily routine checks van drivers should carry out
  •  Links to the rules and regulations of the road for van drivers

All the videos, guides and information can be found at www.gov.uk/dvsa/vans