Administrative Manual - 301 General
301.03 Use of Laboratory Vehicles
- The Facilities Management Department provides Laboratory vehicles, including Commonwealth-owned and Government-leased (GSA) vehicles. Various types of vehicles, e.g., trucks (4x4s and 4x2s), vans and sedans are assigned to Laboratory Divisions/Offices. Proper use of the vehicles is the responsibility of the manager of the group or individual to which the vehicle is assigned.
- This policy also applies to the use of other vehicles that may be leased or rented from other sources for special transport purposes or to supplement the customary JLab fleet.
- This policy does not apply to operating motorized equipment, such as forklifts, aerial lifts, etc. See the JLab EH&S Manual for information regarding this equipment.
- Vehicles are for official use only, i.e., for the performance of Laboratory work and business. Passengers in Laboratory vehicles are to be directly associated with the official JSA/JLab business to which the vehicle is assigned or with other official business of the Laboratory.
- It is the policy of JSA/JLab that anyone riding a bicycle, scooter, using in-line skates or skateboards on site will wear an approved protective helmet.
- Unauthorized Uses of Vehicles
- Personal Use
Use of an official vehicle for an employee's personal convenience or benefit constitutes misuse and is prohibited. Misuse includes the following specific examples:
- Trips to service stations or repair shops in connection with the servicing or repair of an individual's private car.
- While on special assignment or official travel, side trips for meals that involve significant extra time or distance to satisfy a personal preference when other reasonable and adequate eating places are more convenient to the employee's lodging, place of work, or direct route of official travel.
- Local stops for personal shopping or other business, even if such stops are on a direct route of travel on an official trip.
- Use By Non-JSA/JLab Personnel
- Personnel not on the JSA/JLab payroll, i.e., users, subcontractors, students, consultants, etc., are normally not authorized to use Laboratory-furnished vehicles. However, when such persons are engaged in official business and it would be economically beneficial to the Laboratory, they may be authorized by their department manager or group leader to use Laboratory vehicles, provided they meet the driver qualifications and license requirements described below.
- Personnel/operators not on the JLab payroll must be licensed as specified in License Requirements, below.
- Operator's Liability
- Costs of Damages
Operators of Laboratory-furnished vehicles are personally liable for the costs of any damages incurred due to their misuse of such vehicles. Misuse means unauthorized use, use for an improper purpose, gross negligence in the care and operation of an official vehicle, or intentional violation of traffic safety regulations.
- Corrective Action
Employees who misuse Laboratory vehicles are subject to corrective action such as written reprimand, temporary suspension without pay, or dismissal. They may also be subject to criminal penalties.
- Public Liability
The use of Laboratory vehicles, including rental vehicles, for unofficial business may expose the driver to public liability in the event of an accident, particularly if the accident is found to be caused by the driver's negligence. If the use of a vehicle is not official, or if the driver stops en route or deviates from a direct route to conduct personal affairs while on official business, he/she may be found to have departed from the scope of employment. In such a case, JSA/JLab and its insurance carrier would disclaim liability, and the driver would be financially responsible.
- Traffic Citations
Operators of Laboratory-furnished vehicles are personally responsible for the payment of any fines levied because of their violation of traffic or parking regulations, except when the violation is a direct result of mechanical malfunction or failure of an official vehicle.
- Costs of Damages
- Personal Use
- Operator Qualifications
- Minimum Age
Operators of JSA/JLab vehicles driven off-site shall be at least 21 years of age. Operators of vehicles on-site may be 18-20 years of age if they meet all other qualifications and written approval by their supervisor is provided to Facilities Management.
The supervisor of a prospective vehicle operator shall personally verify that the operator has the skill and experience to safely operate JSA/JLab vehicles other than sedans, pick-up trucks, and passenger vans. As appropriate, this may include a pre-use familiarization session and demonstrated proficiency operating larger trucks, powered lift gates, lift booms, trailers, and other special vehicle features.
- Minimum Age
- License Requirements
All individuals whose duties require them to drive government-owned (Commonwealth or GSA) vehicles must possess a valid driver's license. They shall produce their license when so requested by their supervisor or by the Facilities Management staff member who is issuing a vehicle.
- License Suspension or Revocation
- If an employee whose duties involve operation of an official vehicle has his/her state driver's license revoked, suspended, or a court or the Department of Motor Vehicles has imposed use restrictions, the employee shall immediately notify his/her supervisor.
- Drivers may be required to provide a current copy of their motor vehicle driving record as issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. JLab shall reimburse the standard costs for obtaining this record.
All accidents involving JSA/JLab-furnished vehicles are to be reported as specified in the JLab EH&S Manual, Chapter 6170. These accident-reporting procedures are also located in the glove box of each vehicle. The Security & Services Manager (or designee) shall assist as needed in the reporting process.
- Bicycles purchased for Lab use are the responsibility of the individual "owner" Divisions/Offices. Bicycles are for official use only; i.e., for the performance of Laboratory work and business on site, and for use by users for personal transportation on and off-site during their visit here.
- All bicycles utilized on Laboratory property and Lab bicycles utilized on and off-site are to abide by the following
- Observe all Commonwealth of Virginia traffic codes and regulations.
- An appropriately fitted, approved bicycle helmet will be worn while operating a bicycle. This requirement applies also to JLab bicycles being used off-site. Helmets will be initially issued through the Office of Assessment. Thereafter, protective helmets are available through the stockroom and are to be replaced every five (5) years. Bicycles will not be issued until a protective helmet has been issued.
- Yield to pedestrians.
- When on a road, ride on the right hand side, except when preparing to turn left. Ride in single file, not side by side.
- Do not park bicycles in building corridors, stairwells or other locations where they can hinder egress.
- All accidents involving injury or damage to equipment are reported like any on-the-job accident as detailed in the JLab EH&S Manual, Chapter 6170.
- Supervisors are responsible for and expected to ensure employees who ride bicycles, scooters, in-line skates or skateboards have helmets and use them as required. Anyone observing someone in violation of this policy is responsible for notifying the individual of the need to wear a helmet and for reporting the incident appropriately. Security personnel will stop individuals they observe in violation of this policy and report such violation appropriately.
- Supervisors are expected to issue an oral counseling to the non-compliant individual when they become aware of the initial violation. Further violation will follow normal progressive disciplinary process appropriate to the circumstances.
- Individuals needing transportation for JSA/JLab official business may request the use of a vehicle by submitting a Facilities Management Service Work Request. Any questions concerning the use of an official vehicle can be directed to the Security & Services Manager. Inform Facilities Management (ext.7400) immediately if a JLab vehicle is malfunctioning.
- Leased Transportation Services
JLab subcontracts for specialized vehicle services such as vans and buses. These vehicles may be leased on an hourly basis, including drivers, by filling out a Facilities Management Work Request at least 24 hours in advance. The leasing division/office or department must have a valid cost account number on file with funds pre-approved for this purpose. Contact Facilities Management for assistance in setting up an account.