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Health and Safety Procedure - Safe Driving

Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) Work related driving can pose a significant risk to the health and safety of staff and students at La Trobe University.

(2) This Procedure specifies the requirements to ensure that drivers on University Business are adequately experienced, plan their journeys, are aware of road hazards, and drive only when in a fit condition.

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Section 2 - Scope

(3) This Procedure is intended to be implemented in conjunction with the University Vehicle Fleet Policy and associated documents provided on the Health and Safety intranet.

(4) This Procedure applies to all staff and HDR students.

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Section 3 - Statement

(5) Refer to the Health and Safety Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Responsibilities

(6) Supervisors and managers will monitor and approve their staff’s need to drive, ensure they have completed the required training and manage alternative arrangements for drivers affected by fatigue.

(7) Fleet management will provide and maintain Fleet vehicles, monitor and manage bookings in Code Red bushfire warning conditions and provide safety related information to the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) team. 

(8) Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Team will provide oversight and monitoring of this Procedure.

(9) Drivers will:

  1. Be appropriately licensed and trained.
  2. Plan their journeys.
  3. Be aware of likely road hazards.
  4. Decide whether they are in a fit condition to drive and seek accommodation if suffering from the effects of fatigue.

(10) Drivers with personal vehicle allowance or University owned vehicles are expected to follow the journey planning and fatigue management elements of this procedure.

Part B - Driver Authorisation

(11) The driver will complete the Request for Access to University Fleet Vehicles form and demonstrate they possess a Driver’s license which is not a Learner's Permit and is valid in the State of Victoria or the location when driving outside of Australia.

(12) The driver will inform their supervisor and Fleet management should they become restricted, suspended or disqualified from driving.

(13) The driver will not drive for any University related business if suspended or disqualified from driving.

Part C - Training and Awareness

(14) Drivers will complete the eLearning awareness module every two years as part of the requirements for driving whilst on University business.

(15) Drivers required to travel on unsealed roads will complete an accredited 4x4 training course.

Part D - Journey Planning

(16) Managers and supervisors will monitor their staff and students’ need to drive, and in the first instance will consider alternative methods such as eliminating the need to travel. i.e. video conferencing.

(17) Where travel is greater than 2.5 hours in one direction, a journey management plan will be completed.  

(18) Where the journey is routine then one plan will be sufficient and be followed for each journey across a calendar year.

(19) Journey planning will consider potential adverse weather, time of travel (including fatigue), vehicle suitability, road conditions and fauna.

(20) When selecting a vehicle for travel, the driver will select in accordance with a fit for intended purpose and only use a private vehicle as the last resort.

(21) Private vehicles will be registered, roadworthy, comprehensively insured and suitable for the planned journey.

Part E - Driving to the Conditions

(22) Where remote driving has been identified in the journey planning,the driver will ensure the requirements specified in this Procedure are integrated within the fieldwork plan.

(23) The driver will monitor for adverse weather and only drive when safe to do so.

(24) When a code red bushfire alert has been declared, Fleet Management will cease vehicle bookings for travel in or to the affected areas. 

Part F - Pre-start Inspection

(25) The driver will complete a visual inspection of the vehicle prior to starting a journey.

(26) When the driver identifies a deficiency on the vehicle the Driver will fix the issue if possible i.e. filling up fuel, cleaning windows, inflating tyres etc.

(27) When a deficiency on the vehicle cannot be fixed or a maintenance issue has been identified that will increase the risk of a road incident the Driver will not drive the vehicle.

  1. When the driver is using a University Fleet vehicle they will note the deficiency in the pre-start inspection and notify Fleet Management.
  2. When the driver is using a GoGet they will note the deficiency in the pre-start inspection and contact GoGet to arrange for another vehicle.

Part G - Fitness to Drive

(28) Driving when unfit poses a health and safety risk. Each driver is responsible to monitor their own fitness to drive whilst on university business. This includes:

  1. Not driving when feeling fatigued
  2. A blood alcohol rating of 0.00% whilst driving a University Fleet or GoGet vehicle
  3. Not being under the influence of any illicit drugs
  4. Being aware of the effects of any prescribed medication
  5. Being aware of any restrictions due to injury or illness

(29) In situations when it is unsafe to drive, the driver will liaise with the supervisor immediately to determine alternative arrangements.

Part H - Whilst Driving

(30) Whilst driving, the driver will ensure the following:

  1. Distractions which divert the drivers attention will be kept to a minimum as these increase the risk of a road incident.i.e music levels
  2. All goods will be secured to minimise the risk of unrestrained objects striking the vehicle occupant/s in the event of a collision
  3. Not responding to text messages, email or any other form of mobile devices
  4. Take regular stretch breaks every 2.5 hours and where possible rotate drivers
  5. Notify safe arrival where appropriate, with the manager or supervisor.

Part I - Emergency Response and Incident Reporting

(31) In the event of a road incident the driver will seek medical assistance if required.

(32) The driver will then report the incident to the Fleet Management Team and/or to GoGet depending on the vehicle used.

(33) Fleet Management will arrange for the vehicle to be recovered.

(34) The driver will also report the incident to their supervisor and to the HSE Team as soon as practical (ideally less than 24 hours) through the Incident and Hazard Reporting system located on the Intranet.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(35) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Driver: Person driving the vehicle
  2. Fleet: University owned vehicles
  3. GoGet: Supplier of the University’s pool vehicles
  4. Private vehicle: A vehicle is deemed to be a private vehicle if it is owned outright by the Driver or forms part of an employment/contract salary package 
  5. Provisional drivers: Drivers who are provisionally licensed
  6. Red Code: Bushfire warning system that identifies areas at risk of bushfire activity
  7. Remote: Any driving on unsealed roads
  8. Travel: Business related use of land and air vehicles 
  9. University business: Any activity conducted for the benefit of the University including: teaching, research, field trips, and administration activities. University Business does not include students using private vehicles to attend a field trip or placement or staff or students using private vehicles to travel to and from their normal place of work or study.