The HSE's newly-issued "Driving at Work" guidelines state that employers must ensure that vehicles used for work purposes are maintained to an acceptable standard and in line with manufacturers' servicing recommendations. However, legal opinion indicates that, in the event of an accident where maintenance problems appear to have been a contributing factor, repairers could also face prosecution.
Neville Briggs, Pinewood's managing director, said: “Repairers need to be able to show two things. Firstly, that a procedure exists to ensure that maintenance is undertaken and, secondly, how that has been applied to the vehicle in question. For both these instances, the systems and records facilities inherent in any good DMS system should provide an easy route to fulfilling these important health and safety responsibilities and putting a watertight infrastructure in place."
Under the HSE guidelines, repairers should also be able to show whether work that was recommended was carried out.