Operating A Logistics Business during COVID-19

24 /Aug

The UK Logistics sector has kept the country running during the COVID-19 pandemic; from keeping supermarket shelves stocked to transporting vital PPE and medical equipment to Hospitals.

The increased demand during lockdown has put significant strain on businesses as they look to scale up operations rapidly. Businesses have adapted to overcome the stresses imposed by the pandemic, working with peers to provide drivers and transportation to fulfil any shortfalls.

Risk Profiles

Reviewing risk profiles is important if there has been a change to your usual business practices. For example, you may have changed the type of cargo that you carry, so this will require a refreshed review of risks.

Fleet Management

Businesses should ensure that appropriate training has been provided to drivers addressing the new risks and requirements of COVID-19. This will be informed by a specific COVID-19 Risk Assessment that the business will have undertaken. The training could include what to do in case of an accident, how to decontaminate vehicles after use etc. To avoid any future COVID-19 related negligence claims all training and risk assessments should be evidenced in writing and a record kept. The risk assessments should be regularly reviewed to ensure they are in line with Government guidance.

Risk Mitigation

If you have a large number of vehicles laid up and they are all parked in the same location then they are vulnerable to a large scale loss. It would be prudent to review the current security arrangements to prevent losses due to a malicious act such as theft or arson, or natural event such as flood. This may involve increased physical security at the site or splitting the vehicles across multiple locations to avoid an accumulation of risk.

Drivers

If a driver is returning to work following furlough, they may require a re-assessment of their driving ability or re-training on the business’s Health & Safety procedures. If you have brought in specific COVID-19 measures, then they should be communicated to employees in writing and if possible a written confirmation returned. Every employee will be different and will be dependent on the length of their absence. You should evidence in writing your assessment of each employees training needs and any training that has been provided.

The pandemic is an evolving situation and it requires businesses to adapt. It is vital that all risks are regularly assessed, mitigated, communicated, and documented. This applies to COVID-19 and all other working risks.

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