Health & Safety

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - FRONT PAGE -

Whether it’s reps out sell­ing, de­liv­ery driv­ers de­liv­er­ing, or tech­ni­cians on their way to ser­vice equip­ment, un­der the Health and Safety at Work Act they are all us­ing a place of busi­ness: their ve­hi­cle.

Busi­ness own­ers and se­nior man­age­ment are re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing a pri­mary duty of care to peo­ple who they em­ploy, con­tract or sub­con­tract, as far as rea­son­ably prac­ti­cal. They are gen­er­ally good at iden­ti­fy­ing risks on their premises or on client sites when per­form­ing work, but it’s easy to for­get that the distance trav­elled to com­plete the job car­ries its own risks, even if the driver is not car­ry­ing haz­ardous goods or us­ing a com­pany ve­hi­cle.

It’s pos­si­ble that a com­pany could be held li­able if a per­son they are re­spon­si­ble for has an ac­ci­dent which is deemed to have been pre­ventable by sup­ply­ing bet­ter train­ing. Un­der the new health and safety laws which came into ef­fect in April this year, or­gan­i­sa­tions need to be able to doc­u­ment the steps they’re tak­ing to re­duce the risk of accidents on New Zealand roads.

Driver train­ing has been proven to re­duce the risk of ac­cents which in turn keeps in­surance pre­mi­ums lower and means less costs in ve­hi­cle down­time and time off work.

One so­lu­tion which cov­ers both driver train­ing and health and safety com­pli­ance is pro­vided by DT Driver Train­ing. The e-learn­ing sys­tem is used by over 70,000 peo­ple per month and cov­ers the

Road Code, ad­vanced driv­ing, driver health and safety, li­cence en­dorse­ments and more.

“We cre­ated the sys­tem to make it easy and af­ford­able for smaller com­pa­nies with just a few ve­hi­cles on the road to com­ply with their driver train­ing obli­ga­tions,” said Dar­ren Cottingham, di­rec­tor. “As it’s avail­able 24/ 7 from any de­vice, you don’t have to worry that train­ing ses­sions will in­ter­fere with crit­i­cal work sched­ules – driv­ers can take a quick five-minute re­fresher when they have time, or they can sit down for a longer ses­sion.”

No one likes to be told their driv­ing could be im­proved, but when it is im­proved driv­ers have fewer accidents, and are hap­pier and calmer be­hind the wheel.

Sta­tis­tics show that driv­ers are at high risk of an ac­ci­dent when they are driv­ing for work be­cause there’s the ten­dency to mul­ti­task, driv­ers are of­ten rush­ing be­tween ap­point­ments and their minds are on work. If they are also aged be­tween 16 and 30 then they are even more at risk. The con­se­quences of a ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent

are down­time for com­pany ve­hi­cles, in­creased in­surance pre­mium costs, time off work for re­cu­per­a­tion and po­ten­tially more se­ri­ous con­se­quences if some­one is gravely in­jured or killed.

A De­part­ment of Labour study in 2007 put the av­er­age hid­den cost of motor ve­hi­cle in­surance claims at over $120,000 and found that one in four com­pany ve­hi­cles was in­volved in some kind of ac­ci­dent per year.

The risks are not just the ob­vi­ous ones of crash­ing into some­thing or some­one. Driver health and safety extends to cor­rect pos­ture be­hind the wheel, main­tain­ing hy­dra­tion, choos­ing the right foods and safe car­ry­ing of goods, all of which can af­fect a driver’s abil­ity to drive.

“It doesn’t take many years af­ter a driver has earned their full li­cence un­til it would be dif­fi­cult for them to pass the learner li­cence theory test again – peo­ple sim­ply for­get rules, were never re­ally sure, or they see large num­bers of driv­ers do­ing one thing that’s not cor­rect and this be­comes the way they do things, too,” ex­plains Cottingham.

With businesses try­ing to eke out com­pet­i­tive per­for­mance gains, DT Driver Train­ing is used by a range of com­pa­nies from small ve­hi­cle re­pair work­shops right through to large haulage com­pa­nies and the NZ Army for re­fresh­ing road rules knowl­edge, upskilling into heavy ve­hi­cle classes, learn­ing ad­vanced driv­ing tech­niques and risk man­age­ment.

Cottingham is also con­cerned about over­seas driv­ers who can swap their car li­cence with­out tak­ing a theory or prac­ti­cal test. This ap­plies to 24 coun­tries, in­clud­ing many that drive on the right and have sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent road signs and mark­ings. Their ref­er­ence points for driv­ing are the rest of us on the road – the ones that al­ready have bad habits.

“It’s pos­si­ble to cor­rect the mass con­fu­sion that peo­ple have with some road rules, like how to in­di­cate cor­rectly on a round­about,” says Cottingham op­ti­misti­cally, “and it’s also pos­si­ble to get driv­ers to change to good habits that can cut fuel con­sump­tion by more than 10 per­cent, im­prove their health and wellbeing and al­most elim­i­nate the risk of hav­ing an ac­ci­dent.”

“We cre­ated the sys­tem to make it easy and af­ford­able for smaller com­pa­nies with just a few ve­hi­cles on the road to com­ply with their driver train­ing obli­ga­tions.”

IF YOU DRIVE FOR WORK, OR HAVE DRIV­ERS WORK­ING FOR YOU CHECK HOW WELL YOU RE­MEM­BER THE ROAD RULES BY TAK­ING A FREE MOCK THEORY TEST AT WWW.DRIVINGTESTS.CO.NZ

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AN EM­PLOYEE FROM VIC­TO­RIA PARK AUTO SER­VICES IN AUCK­LAND BRUSHES UP ON ROUND­ABOUT RULES. EM­PLOY­EES CAN TAKE THE TESTS IN THEIR OWN TIME VIA MO­BILE DE­VICES. DAR­REN COTTINGHAM – ROAD SAFETY CAM­PAIGNER, FOUNDER AND DI­REC­TOR OF DT DRIVER TRAIN­ING.

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