Safe Work Week Australia highlights importance of regular fleet management

Minister for employment and workplace relations Bill Shorten has encouraged Australians to think about the ways in which they might improve safety and wellbeing at their places of employment during the eighth annual Safe Work Australia Week, which kicked off October 21.

"Across our nation thousands of workers will use the week to promote and improve health and safety practices in their workplaces and encourage their colleagues to be leaders in work health and safety," said Mr Shorten in a statement released October 20.

Organisations operating a fleet of company vehicles may want to use Safe Work Australia Week as an opportunity to review the way that their fleet is being run, in order to ensure that the utmost care is being taken to keep drivers safe on the roads.

In many states Occupational Health and Safety legislation defines any passenger vehicle used for work related purposes as a workplace.

This means that employers operating a fleet of company vehicles have a duty of care towards providing a reasonably safe environment for their drivers.

One way in which fleet managers might improve the safety of company vehicles is by ensuring they are undergoing regular fleet maintenance.

By doing so, they can make sure that all mechanical equipment and parts are in good condition and running to the manufacturer's specifications.

Fleet services can be a useful tool in this regard, by keeping all vehicles to a correct maintenance schedule while also securing discounts on labour and the price of replacement parts.

Mr Shorten went on to note that employees also have an obligation towards ensuring they maintain a safe work environment, highlighting the theme of this year's Safe Work Week -  Safety begins with 'S' but starts with YOU.

"The theme recognises that every worker across Australia can take small steps to improve work health and safety," said Mr Shorten.