Health and Safety consultant Kevin O‘Connor of TSA Consultants asks employers whether they have the correct policies and procedures in place for employees who drive for work.
Sales Rep, Area Manager and Delivery Driver; although vastly different roles, they all share a commonality – each profession involves driving for work. Driving for work includes any person who drives on a road as part of their employment (not
including driving to and from their work) in either:
‘People who drive for work are 40% more likely than other drivers to be involved in a collision’ – RSA Chief Executive, Moyagh Murdock. Studies also show that people who drive company cars have 30% to 40% more collisions than other
drivers, and this risk increases with mileage driven.
Transportation of people and goods remains a key part of our everyday lives, but it is also something that tends to take a back seat in terms of Health and Safety. Why is this? With more work vehicles and general traffic on the roads these
days, the risk of accidents has greatly increased. Why then, do many employers not have a driving for work/transportation policy in place?
All employers should be aware that directors may be prosecuted for a work-related road collision if it is proven that they have not managed safety properly. While drivers are responsible for how they drive, an employer has duties in
helping to make driving for work safer. Additionally, employers should be aware of the three sets of laws that influence driving for work in Ireland: Road Traffic, Health and Safety, and EU (rules on driving).
In the case of journeys taken in a vehicle provided by an employer, such as a van, jeep or fleet vehicle, an employer has a duty of care to ensure the safety of any employees using the vehicle and any associated equipment. Employers should have appropriate policies and procedures (including safe systems of work) in place to ensure safety when employees drive a work-provided vehicle, or their own vehicle for work. These are generally found in your legally required safety statement, which should list all identified hazards, assessed risks, and
suggested controls to appropriately minimise risk.
Many ex-drivers report that they were not supplied with the appropriate information and training needed to protect their safety, health, and welfare while driving for work. Things are improving, however, as employers are becoming more safety aware. So, what are the things your drivers should be doing, or what can you as an employer put in place?
Employees who drive must:
Some issues to address in a policy:
The benefits to a business from implementing a driving for work policy include: increased employee loyalty and enhanced public image, reduced likelihood of employee injury or death and subsequent sickness and dependency costs, and
increased productivity. Granted, nothing is for free, but the long term gains will always outweigh the short term costs.