UVV inspection of company vehicles
20. Jun 2021 | By Tim Ruhoff
Company vehicles not only have to undergo a general inspection, but are also subject to regular inspections in accordance with accident prevention regulations (UVV). The following section will discuss where the UVV inspection is legally anchored, what the contents of an UVV inspection are and what other legal regulations fleet operators have to observe.
The regulations for the UVV inspection do not originate from traffic law, but from state occupational health and safety regulations. These aim to protect employees and ensure operational safety. Accident prevention regulations have been issued since 1884. In contrast to the main inspection, in which vehicles are checked for their road safety, compliance with regulations and environmental compatibility, the UVV inspection is concerned exclusively with the road safety of the company car.
Which company cars fall under the UVV inspection?
DGUV (German Social Accident Insurance) regulation 70 regulates the UVV inspection for company vehicles. The regulation states that all vehicles provided by a company to its employees must be inspected in accordance with the UVV. It does not matter whether the vehicle is only used for work or also for private purposes. The only exception is for vehicles that cannot drive more than 8 kilometres per hour, such as excavators.
Contents of the UVV inspection of vehicles
The inspection of the accident prevention regulations is based on three pillars: 1. regular inspection of the vehicle by the driver before the start of the journey. 2. inspection of the vehicles by an expert once a year. 3. instruction of the drivers when they take over the vehicles and their annual repetition.
1. Pre-trip inspection
Before setting off, Section 36 (1) of DGUV Regulation 70 requires the driver to check his car for damage and defects. This includes checking that the lights are working properly and that the fuel, coolant and engine oil levels are correct. The tyres and number plates must also be checked. It is also important to check that the first-aid kit, warning triangle and high-visibility vest are intact and in the vehicle. Checklists have proved useful for checking all the important components. There are numerous free downloads available on the Internet.
2. Inspection by an expert
In addition to the regular general inspection, all commercially used vehicles must be inspected by an expert once a year. In most workshops, it is organised in such a way that, for example, the UVV inspection is carried out by an expert together with the wheel change or other maintenance work in order to save time. Caution should be exercised when linking the expert inspection to the general inspection, as this does not take place every year and, in the case of new vehicles, even only after three years. In particular, if the UVV inspection is carried out together with other maintenance or repair work on the vehicle, it should be noted that the UVV is listed on the invoice and the company receives a record of the inspection as proof.
3. Annual instruction of drivers
In accordance with § 335 Para. 1 No. 3 DGUV Regulation 1, the employer is obliged to instruct the employee on the safe use of the vehicle when he first takes it over. The content of the instruction includes instruction on possible sources of danger, training on protective measures and regulations to be observed. The instruction also deals with the correct behaviour in the event of accidents or bad weather conditions. As proof, the driver instruction must be documented and repeated every year.
Digitization of the UVV
As described above, the UVV inspection and driver instruction must be documented as proof of performance. In addition to a lot of paperwork, this also means keeping track of deadlines. It is necessary to keep track of which vehicle and which driver are due for inspection or instruction again. Depending on the size of the fleet, the administrative effort can be very high. In addition, the vehicle instruction must be carried out on site, for example. This requires coordination of dates. Especially for drivers who do not work at the same location as the fleet manager or are on the road in the field, the instruction on site can be difficult. Fleet management software can help the fleet manager to keep track of the dates for each vehicle and to store the documents in the software for the vehicle. Furthermore, there is also an automatic reminder, for example, when the next inspection by an expert is due.
Legal consequences of non-observance of the UVV
If the accident prevention regulations are not complied with and instruction is not carried out regularly, the company or the person responsible for the fleet is threatened with legal consequences. These range from fines of up to €10,000. In the case of serious violations, the violation can even be punished with a prison sentence. In addition, the statutory accident insurance does not assume liability for the damage. However, the employee can also be sanctioned. If the employee violates regulations from occupational safety and health protection, sanctions ranging from a warning to termination without notice can be threatened, depending on the severity of the violation.
Fleet operators have to comply with many rules and regulations. In the areas of occupational safety and operational safety, UVV inspections are an important part of preventing accidents involving company vehicles. The three pillars of UVV inspections are intended to ensure that vehicles and drivers are or act in a roadworthy manner. It is important for the fleet manager that all inspections are documented in order to be able to prove that the legal requirements have been met in the event of damage. Fleet management software can help to manage the dates and documentation for each vehicle and for each driver.