News & Views

Driving compliance, an employers duty or face a penalty

DC
BY Douglas Cameron
Health & Safety
BG Orange

I recently witnessed a rather nasty motor accident. Someone driving too fast, in a rush to get wherever. I thought to myself, that’s why I encourage employers to consider driving as part of safety compliance expectations. 

 

The lorry driver, the van delivery driver, the sales representative, the business consultant, the maintenance engineer. We need no reminder, look at our busy motorways and then remember ‘they are at work’ and therefore there is no doubt the employer has a duty to ensure their safety and welfare. HSE state more than a quarter of all road traffic incidents may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time.

 

RoSPA stated last month that Great Britain now has one of the best road safety records in the world, but with around five people still dying on Britain's roads every day there is much more to be done. In September they encouraged all road users to reflect on their behaviour and attitude as part of a European-wide push to reduce death and serious injuries.

 

The AA are of the clear view, driving involves risk. This means all employers have a duty of care to their staff whether they are driving for work or operating as professional drivers.

 

I had a look at the Department of Transport statistics for 2015, 1469 fatalities, 17,176 serious accidents, 89,566 minor accidents. Potentially a third of these are happening in the workplace?

 

So driving licence checks, evidence of business insurance, periodic checks of vehicles, (no matter who owns them) and a decision at what business mileage per year should employees attend further driving safety awareness courses?

 

A number of organisations provide defensive / awareness course to improve our skills and having attended such a course I highly recommend them, although I will not be sharing the results. Suffice to say I had developed a number of ‘gremlins’ which did not stack up to my pre-determined thought that I was a great, careful and aware driver.

 

I had become a hazard with variable risk factors to both myself, other road users and pedestrians.

 

These course does not only help reduce the risk of death and injury while driving but can also reduce fuel consumption, damage costs, time off work, insurance premiums and the risk of being prosecuted under Corporate Manslaughter Legislation.

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