As the UK is currently facing a national shortage of HGV drivers, retired drivers are being encouraged to return to work.
We recently published a guide to returning to work for retired HGV drivers. Our guide covered the various practical steps returning HGV drivers should consider, including the training and certification they need.
In this post we’ll outline some key things that fleet managers should consider as part of their risk assessment when hiring returning HGV drivers.
At Anthony Jones we specialise in insurance for the transport and logistics sector. So, if you’re considering hiring some returning HGV drivers and you have any questions about your insurance needs, call us on 020 8290 9099 or email email@example.com.
What Do HGV Drivers Need to Return to Work?
Any HGV driver who wants to return to work will first have to bring their Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) up to date. At the very least, this will require completing 35 hours’ of CPC training.
What Are The Risks of Rehiring Retired HGV Drivers?
So long as an HGV driver has a valid CPC, then there should not be any major risks in hiring them. Completing their CPC will confirm that there are no issues with their eyesight, coordination, concentration, or anything else that might make driving risky.
However, once drivers reach a certain age – around 71 – their health and fitness may start to deteriorate, and they may become more susceptible to certain age-related conditions.
Fleet managers should be aware of the risks of hiring older HGV drivers. Your recruitment process should include a comprehensive risk assessment.
Medical Standards for Drivers
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends judging a person’s fitness for operating a vehicle on a case-by-case basis. They suggest screening all existing and potential workplace transport operators for fitness before employment, and at five-yearly intervals from the age of 45.
If the existing or potential operator is aged 65 or over, they should have an annual fitness assessment test.
You should also ask applicants about any medication they’re taking, whether it’s prescribed or bought over the counter, as some medications may temporarily affect a person’s ability to operate a vehicle.
Standard Pre-Employment Checks
Certain standard pre-employment checks will help you assess a returning HGV driver’s abilities:
- Two professional references
- Pre-screening alcohol and drug tests
- OTC revoked licence check
- Legal questionnaire
You could also arrange an assessment drive, so you can check a returning HGV driver’s abilities in a real-world setting.
Consider Role-Specific Hazards and Risks
HGV drivers will face different risks depending on the nature of the role. As part of your risk assessment for returning HGV drivers, consider the type of driving their role will require, and the measures you could implement to meet any risks.
For example, if their role will require excessive night-time, off-road, or high-speed driving, you might stipulate the need for additional specialist training. And if the driver will be required to load or unload their own vehicle, you should assess their physical fitness, and determine whether they need any additional training or equipment for the role.
For more information, road safety charity RoSPA has an essential guide to initial and ongoing driver assessment and training.
Technology and Digital Tachographs
Depending on when they last drove an HGV, returning HGV drivers may not be used to the technology both truckers and fleet managers use as part of the job.
Before they can work again, they’ll have to apply for a digital tachograph card to store information about their daily hours. They should also be adept at using specialist truck sat-navs. They should understand that using their own devices is simply not an option here – using a “standard” sat-nav in a truck could lead them down roads that are too narrow, or under bridges that are too low.
So as part of your risk assessment for returning HGV drivers, make sure any applicants are comfortable and familiar with the tech that now comes as standard.
Fleet Managers – Are You Looking To Hire Returning HGV Drivers?
At Anthony Jones we specialise in insurance for the transport and logistics sector – from commercial truck and HGV insurance to the insurance needs of large fleets. So, if you’re considering hiring some returning HGV drivers and you have any questions about your insurance needs, call us on 020 8290 9099 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.