Statistically, driving is the most dangerous work activity carried out in the UK. Yet it is the most neglected area when it comes to risk assessment and training.
Health & Safety Executive
HSE Guidelines “Driving at work” state: “Health and Safety law applies to on the road work activities as to all work activities and the risks should be effectively managed within a Health & Safety system”. Employers owe the same duty of care under health and safety law to staff or volunteers who drive their own vehicles for work as they do to employees who drive company owned, leased or hired vehicles.
It is an offence under road traffic law to “cause or permit” a person to drive a vehicle that is in a dangerous condition or without a valid licence or at least third party insurance. Employers need to have procedures in place to ensure that all vehicles, regardless of who owns them, which are used for work purposes, conform to road traffic law, are safe and properly maintained and are fit for purpose. It is easier if the vehicle is company owned but harder when employees’ own vehicles are used. Health and Safety law does not apply to commuting, unless the employee is travelling from their home to somewhere which is not their usual place of work. Employers are required to consult with employees, and where applicable the health and safety representatives on health and safety in relation to driving.
Since the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, companies and organisations can be investigated and subsequently prosecuted as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of duty of care. Put simply, if you fail to take reasonable steps to identity and remedy risks to your workforce and this leads to the death of an employee, your business could be investigated and found guilty under this act.
Individual directors can be prosecuted for other related offences, which can result in imprisonment.
Duty of Care
Under the Act, employers have a Duty of Care to ensure the safety of employees driving for work. The revised legislation makes it easier to prosecute an organisation following a work related death.
“Health and safety law requires employers and the self-employed to ensure so far as reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare of all employees and to safeguard others who may be put at risk from their work activities. This includes when they are undertaking work-related driving
Driving At Work – HSE
For full details of the act please visit the legislation.gov website – Corporate Manslaughter & Corporate Homicide Act 2007.
You can dramatically reduce the risk to your business, it’s directors and senior managers as well as your employees through our tailored professional risk assessment and training service. By identifying and addressing risks you are demonstrating a high level of duty of care towards your employees.For details of our service please visit our risk assessment & training pages. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.