Safety in our industry is paramount and ensuring each party is aware of what is expected of them is vital to ensure a good working relationship, legal compliance, and a cost-effective business. This includes, but not limited to, the following aspects:
- Driver hours
- Use of telephone or mobile devices
- Pre-operational check
- Safe and secure loading
- Aware of vulnerable road users
- Going off route
- Smoking in the vehicle
- Reporting of incidents near misses or accidents
The demands of our customers require that we will deliver on time with goods in the correct condition. We should not compromise ourselves by not having the basic checks in place with the Agency that in turn are verified by the Client and adhered to by the Driver. We recognise that the agency driver at times can be undervalued. The expectation of the driver is very high, however commitment at times from the client can be low. It is proposed by the Northamptonshire Logistics Forum that the time has come to make our agency colleagues more valued and understood as a reliable versatile resource that can bring exceptional value to the client. In addressing this point, we think the industry should bring an accreditation to an agency Driver, the Agency, and the Client. The aim of this process is to provide evidence to the partnership that you are more than willing to sign up to the accreditation and work within the scheme’s process and procedures.
Client The Client shall operate within the scope of the scheme, by committing to work in partnership with the Agency to improve the supply of high calibre, well-briefed experienced Drivers. The Client shall provide the Driver with a pre-brief, inclusive of an assesment and training on the vehicle(s) assigned, including:
- Pre-op check and defect procedure
- Drivers Hours Regulations/Tachographs
- Site rules, medicine/drugs and alcohol testing and site requirements (including PPE)
- Vehicles – Use & Care
- Road Traffic Act/Highway Code
- Speed Limits
- Use of mobile phones and mobile devices
- Manoeuvring of Vehicles – Reversing, Coupling/Uncoupling, Towing
- Security of Vehicles/Loads and Load Security
- Unauthorised Use/Unauthorised Passengers
- Communicating issues, accidents, near misses and breakdowns
- De-brief and a summary of your working day
- Reporting procedure for PG9s or Enforcement action – Police DVSA.
- London Lorry Route Scheme
- Useful telephone numbers/driver’s notes/summary
The Client shall provide the Agency with the following documents:
- Health & Safety Policy Statement
- Health & Safety Policy & Procedure Manual Index
- Transport Policy
- Health Surveillance Form (Nightshift Workers)
- Site Rules
- Occupational Road Risk Assessment (covering three elements: Vehilce, Journey & Driver)
- Workplace Transport Road Risk Assessment (including on-site segregation of vehicles and pedestrians)
- Employers & Public Liability Insurance
- Accreditations (ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO45001, FORS)
- Memberships (FTA, RHA)
- Drivers Handbook
- Accident Statistics (last three years)
Agency Shall agree to carry out what we refer to as the ‘basic steps’ before assigning a driver to a client, that is to ensure:
- Full right to work documentation in the UK is checked;
- A valid, current licence with the correct vehicle categories;
- All documents for driving DCPC Card Digi Card are in place;
- Previous experience skills and evidenced checks and verified;
- The driver is fully briefed on the requirements of the client;
- They openly and honestly support best practice in our sector; and,
- They provide KPI’s – Assessment - ongoing training.
All the above is to be evidenced and provided as such upon request, the agency is to commit to an open and transparent approach and always remain within the scope of the accreditation. Driver The Driver shall follow these steps to ensure compliance with the scheme and subsequent employment via an Agency with the Client:
- Sign up to the SEATS Scheme and actively embrace its principles;
- Provide documents relevant to the work undertaken including evidence of vocational qualifications and ensure they are verified by the Agency; and,
- Full brief from the Agency on expectations before the Client’s assignment.
This is a cost neutral process and to be accredited as a SEATS driver you will adhere to the rules and guidelines around the SEATS accreditation always.
NN1 Personnel in Northampton were one of the early adopters of the SEATS program:
“The SEATS process we have at NN1 Personnel forms part of the signup and onboarding process that all drivers go through. Once we have checked candidates documents and references we begin matching drivers with companies according to the customer’s requirements.
Drivers are then informed of any site specific instructions or expectations and we walk all drivers through the SEATS programme and it’s principles and have them sign to confirm their acceptance.
We are in contact with the client every day and so any issues are immediately highlighted and this monitoring and benchmarking of our drivers against SEATS principles is a very useful metric.
At NN1 we feel we have always had a robust quality control process but SEATS really helps to standardise some of these expectations across the industry and should result in higher standards for everybody.
As an agency we feel there are many benefits including:
- Agency understanding more about clients procedures and internal processes
- Agency being able to brief drivers on clients requirements and expectations better. Saving time as when a new driver arrives on site, he should be already briefed.
- Improving communication between client and agency
- Showing the client that we agency wants to improve its standards
- Getting drivers involved and showing drivers that agency appreciate them and care about them.”
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