1. Our Commitment
Mercury Bay Hi-Ab Services Ltd is committed to Healthy Work and Wellbeing by promote a safe driving culture with a minimal quantity of road accidents and injuries for our staff and other road users.
Workers are protected by this policy when driving for work whether in a company or private vehicle.
This policy will be made available to all workers including contractors. New workers will be given a copy of this policy at their induction. Managers and supervisors will remind workers of the policy from time to time
This policy applies, at the workplace, to all staff members of Mercury Bay Hi-Ab Services Ltd (referred as the Company) and aims to put in place safe practises for all company employees as well as other road users. It is not intended to replace the requirements for commercial drivers including the Land Transport Rule: Work Time and Logbooks 2007
3. Our response
The Company will take all practicable steps to ensure that company vehicles are maintained in a safe and legal manner.
The Company will not require staff to drive in unsafe conditions that could be likely to create unsafe environments, including but not limited to, physical distress or fatigue.
The Company will comply with the following:
- Ensure staff who drive vehicles in the course of their work will always, to the best of their ability, demonstrate safe, efficient driving skills and other good road safety habits.
- Maintain all company vehicles in a safe, clean, and roadworthy condition to ensure the maximum safety of the drivers, occupants, and other road users, and reduce the impacts of company vehicles on the environment – this also applies to personal vehicles used for work purposes.
- Outline steps and guidelines for all company staff to avoid and manage fatigue whilst operating vehicles.
- Only choose vehicles with high safety ratings.
- Service the vehicles according to manufacturers’ recommendations or that of a qualified mechanic.
- Set up procedures where employees check vehicles’ oil, water, tyre pressures and general cleanliness on a monthly basis, then record the inspections.
- Set up a procedure to identify and rectify faults as soon as practicable.
- Offer training and education where required.
- Fit all vehicles with a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, reflective vest, torch and emergency triangle.
The Company takes no responsibility for paying for speeding fines or other infringements which are incurred as the direct result of driver negligence.
To assist commercial staff who are required to operate vehicles as the duty of their employment to be safe whilst at work, the Company will take the following steps to ensure staff safety:
- Provide a thorough induction to the Company’s road safety policies and procedures
- Offer driver training opportunities to all staff
- Carry out driver assessments and required training as part of all staff inductions
- Offer advanced driver training or specific practical training as required
- Host regular staff seminars or refresher meetings on safety features, fatigue, driver responsibility, drink-driving, and fuel-efficient driving.
It is important that we take all practical steps to ensure we maintain the best level of fuel efficiency possible. The Company encourages staff to do these though:
- Setting up and promoting a carpool scheme for work car use.
- Setting up and promoting a workplace travel plan.
- Providing training on, and circulating information about, travel planning and efficient driving habits.
- Encouraging the use of other transport and/or remote conferencing whenever practical.
4. Employee obligations
It is the role and responsibility of both the Company and its employees to maintain a safe working environment wherever practical. This includes maintaining the safety of staff and other road users whilst operating company motor vehicles or private motor vehicles for work purposes.
Therefore, every driver of a company vehicle will:
- Ensure they hold a correct and current driver licence for the class of vehicle they are driving.
- Ensure they always carry their licence when driving a company vehicle.
- Immediately notify the Company if their driver licence has been suspended or cancelled or has had limitations placed upon it.
- Agree to be registered with Driver Check or TORO.
- Be responsible and accountable for their actions when operating a company vehicle or driving for the purposes of work.
- Undertake and record such vehicle checks as the Company requires.
- Comply with the New Zealand Road Code when operating a company vehicle.
- Assess hazards while driving and anticipate ‘what if’ scenarios.
- Always wear a safety belt.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription and over the counter medication if they cause drowsiness
- Avoid distraction when driving – pull over if necessary.
- Report any near misses, crashes, and scrapes to their manager, including those that do not result in injury, and follow the crash procedures outlined in this policy.
- Not use cell phones whilst driving unless a certified hands-free car kit which meets the legal obligations is installed in the vehicle.
- Report infringements to a manager at the earliest opportunity.
- Report vehicle defects to a manager before the next vehicle use.
In addition, it is required that all drivers:
- Stop when tired. Notify management if taking an unscheduled break or having a power nap.
- Plan their journeys, considering pre-journey work duties, the length of the trip and post-journey commitments.
- Stay overnight if driving time and non-driving duties exceed 13 hours in one day. Staff are required to have 10 hours minimum continuous rest and may work for no more than 13 hours in any 24-hour period
- Non-commercial drivers to take 10-minute breaks every two hours of driving. Commercial drives must take a 15-minute break after 5 ½ hours of work.
- Employees may be required to keep driving logs that are regularly checked by a supervisor or manager. This is also a requirement for Inland Revenue purposes.
If an employee is driving their own vehicle for the purposes of work, the same policies apply. In addition:
- The employee must seek the Company’s agreement before using their vehicle for work.
- The car must be legally registered, warranted, and insured for the purposes of work – the employee must show evidence of this on request.
- The employee must not carry loads for which the vehicle is unsuited, nor may they carry more passengers than for whom there are seat belts.
- The vehicle must not be used in conditions for which it was not designed (such as off-road).
Driver fatigue is a workplace issue.
If you drive as part of your job, you, and your employer share responsibility to keep you safe on the road. This includes managing the risk of driver fatigue.
Make sure you:
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Take regular breaks.
- Avoid driving when you would normally be asleep.
- Share the driving if you can.
- Take fruit and healthy snacks to eat and plenty of water to keep hydrated and alert.
- Recognise and act on early warning signs of driver fatigue.
We don’t necessarily recognise when fatigue is getting worse, so watch for and act on the early signs such as:
- Lots of yawning, losing focus, blinking more or getting tired eyes
- Thinking you should wind the window down, turn the music up, or buy a coffee so you’re more alert.
If you notice these signs don’t try to hang on until you get to your destination. Stop driving until you feel refreshed and more alert. If you don’t feel really alert when you start driving again you are a danger on the road and at risk of crashing. Recognise and act on the warning signs of danger from driver fatigue.
- Feel your head nod down or jerk up
- Become aware you’ve moved unintentionally in your lane or unintentionally changed speed
- Notice where you are on a familiar route, but you don’t remember passing particular places
- Realise with a start you need to brake heavily to avoid a hazard.
These four danger signs mean just one thing – you’ve been asleep at the wheel for a few seconds. In other words, you’ve had a microsleep.
In these 3 or 4 seconds when you are asleep at the wheel you can travel nearly the length of a rugby field. A lot can go wrong in that time. and you are not awake to take any corrective action.
If you notice any of these danger signs you need to stop driving and sleep. The best option is to have a proper sleep, i.e., sleep for 7-8 hours in a bed. If this isn’t possible have a power nap:
- Pull over somewhere safe as soon as you can.
- Move out of the driver’s seat.
- Sleep for no more than 20 minutes.
- Spend 10 minutes or so becoming fully awake and alert before you start driving again.
In the event of an accident, immediately stop your vehicle at the scene or as close to it as possible, making sure you are not obstructing traffic. Ensure your own safety first. Help any injured people and call for assistance if needed.
Try to get the following information:
- Details of the other vehicle(s) and registration number(s)
- Name(s) and address(es) of the other vehicle owner(s) and driver(s)
- Name(s) and address(es) of any witness(es)
- Name(s) of insurer(s).
Give the following information:
- Your name and address and company details as follows
If you damage another vehicle that is unattended, leave a note on the vehicle with your contact details.
Contact the police:
- If there are injuries
- If there is a disagreement over the cause of the crash
- If you damage property other than your own.
Ensure you report any accidents, incidents, and near misses as soon as possible by completing an accident incident form to be investigated by the company health and safety representative and to be discussed as the next safety committee meeting.