13 January 2021
Safe Occupational Driving
By Alan Brown - Health, Safety & Environmental Business Development Manager.
I write this as the first real snow of winter hits Scotland. We now face a period of inclement conditions, although arguably that is a year-round problem in Scotland. So, it’s now definitely the time to consider how your occupational driving & vehicles are being managed.
“Effective management of work-related road safety helps reduce risk, no matter what size your organisation is. It could also result in, for example:
- fewer injuries to drivers;
- reduced risk of work-related ill health;
- reduced stress and improved morale.
Health and safety law does not apply to people commuting (ie travelling between their home and their usual place of work), unless they are travelling from their home to somewhere which is not their usual place of work.”
HSE Document; INDG382.
A vehicle can be a “tool”, intrinsically important to the completion of a person’s job and is so regarded under PUWER 1998, alongside a hammer which is also a “tool”. Unfortunately, road traffic accidents are not expected to be reported under RIDDOR, unlike an accident with a hammer, which means that the employers may not be giving occupational driving the same consideration as other workplace safety topics. Having an accident in a vehicle has arguably the greater level of consequence than an accident involving a hammer. Don’t allow the importance of keeping road users safe to be diminished, even though road traffic accidents not included in the annual statistics published by HSE.
HSWA 1974 requires employers, so far as reasonably practicable, to ensure the health, safety & wellbeing of employees whilst at work and occupational driving is definitely classified as work. The MHSWR 1999 require hazards to be identified, with the associated risks to be assessed and relevant control measures implemented to minimise the risk.
To manage driving risks to an acceptable level, risk assessments must include; vehicle maintenance, ensuring they remain roadworthy and capable of handling winter weather conditions. Route planning, minimising driving at the “wrong time” of day and ensure the most suitable routes are taken, whilst giving drivers sufficient time to reach their destinations safely (Not having to rush). Also, the training of employees is vital to support any positive attitude of employers and keep people safe.
Sibbald Training can develop bespoke courses, to meet the needs of your organisation, covering;
- The principles of safe driving.
- Vehicle pre-use checks.
- Risk assessments.
For additional information, read HSE Document; INDG382.