Existing and new legislation

Under existing Occupational Health & Safety Legislation, all Fleet Managed and Company vehicles are defined as a ‘work place’. This executive instrument subsequently enforces for all Fleet Managed and company vehicles to remain a ‘safe’ working environment.

Unfortunately our research establishes that collision repaired fleet managed and company vehicles are generally repaired to a lesser standard of safety and quality than privately owned collision repaired vehicles.

This in part is attributable to the designated corporate driver having a lesser ‘emotional attachment’ to his company vehicle than what a driver of a privately owned vehicle might have for their own private vehicle. Corporate drivers may also be less diligent in reporting any faults or defects found with their corporate vehicle to their employer.

This attitude is also unfortunately reflected through to the smash repairer where ‘it’s only a company car’ attitude is apparent. Nevertheless a great deal of the liability falls toward the Fleet Manager or Company Director for not doing everything practicable to lessen risk.

A recent report issued by the Staysafe Committee to the New South Wales Parliament, made amongst other recommendations to immediately introduce further legislation to inspect all structurally damaged collision repaired motor vehicles before they return to onto public roads. Refer to – (NSW Parliament Legislative Assembly Staysafe Committee report dated December 2005 section 9/53, titled ‘Repairing to a price not a standard’)

Whilst the introduction of new legislation is welcomed, the existing OHS legislation needs to be more vigorously enforced by Governments, Unions, Employers and fleet managers to optimise vehicle and workplace safety, anything less is unacceptable.