Copyright © Franklin and Morville School of Motoring 26th April 2012 All Rights Reserved
Road Safety - Everyone's Business
Duty of Care - Health and Safety at Work
Aimed at reducing the personal and financial costs to organisations of road traffic incidents involving staff and the public.
Some 65% of road traffic crashes/accidents involve a vehicle driven on company business.
Workplace transport is the second biggest cause of fatal incidents in British workplaces.
Of the 3,201 people killed in the UK through Road Traffic Crashes during 2002 approximately 1,200 were as a direct result of vehicles being driven for work purposes ' At work road traffic crashes'. The vast majority of these incidents were preventable.
Any vehicle in which an employee carries out business on behalf of the company or organisation is regarded as a place of work and as such is deemed a place of work and subject to the current legislation.
Many companies regard the new legislation as an area that simply increases costs and cuts down on profits. Implications of failing to take a more proactive approach and introduce the necessary procedures and policies required to comply with the legislation may have massive financial implications for an organisation.
The Health and Safety Executive state that in the year up to March 2005 some 341 people were killed in the work place. Along with many other road safety organisations we see the company car, van, truck bus and coach as a work place.
Organisations are not immune from the real costs of crashes/accidents involving staff whilst driving in their own time for personal and private business. Added to the personal suffering of employees and families, organisations can suffer tremendous financial loss through down time, lost production etc when a partner or family member is involved in a road traffic incident.
The benefits of such programmes extend beyond the organisation as information is disseminated to family, friends and the general public.
Courses can combine both theory and practical training. The theory aspect looks at the risks to individuals and offers coping strategies tailored to the organisation. The practical in-car assessments and training raise awareness of the individual driver to their responsibilities.
Work related Road Safety - Employers Responsibilities
Some employers believe incorrectly that provided they comply with certain road traffic law requirements, such as ensuring that company vehicles have a valid MOT certificate, they are doing all that is necessary to ensure the safety of their employees when on the road.
Health and safety law requires employers, and the self-employed to ensure, so far as is reasonably practical, the health, safety and welfare of all employees, at all times. Employers also have a responsibility to ensure that others are not put at risk by the work activities of their employees.
Although the driver is ultimately responsible for how a vehicle is driven on the road the employer can have a significant influence on what the driver does. For example, the imposition of unrealistic delivery schedules, inadequate training and failure to properly maintain vehicles all increase the risk of road accidents.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require every employer to carry out an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees, or themselves, whilst they are at work, and to other people who may be affected by their work activities. This includes any driving activity on the road. The regulations require the risk assessment to be reviewed periodically to ensure that it remains valid. Employers should consider the risks to employees on the road in the same way as for those in a workplace.