Occupational Road Risk - Why Act?

Why do only very few businesses...

  • carry out a thorough H&S assessment to minimise occupational road risk - despite the fact that legislation requires it?

  • make ‘occupational road risk' an issue that is given the attention it deserves by management and business owners, especially when they themselves may be personally liable?

  • have a road risk reduction programme, despite the fact that their staff are being put at risk?

Probably because they

  • simply have not thought about, or considered, the real risk of not giving this the due attention it requires by law or deserves

  • don't know where to start

  • don't see the financial benefits

Businesses that don't act are

  • failing to provide the appropriate ‘duty of care'

  • breaking the law

  • missing an opportunity to reduce vehicle costs

  • risking possible damage to the reputation of their business

  • gambling with the lives of their staff

  • at risk of potentially losing a key member of staff, resulting in adverse effects on the business and staff morale and having to spend time dealing with the impact of these effects

  • risking significant legal implication for Directors

So why act?

The Duty of Care and Legal Argument

  • Risk Assessment - Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a statutory duty ‘to carry out an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees' and that includes 'any driving activity on the road'

  • Driving on Company Business - Some businesses have opted out of offering the traditional company car to employees believing that moving to a cash-for-car, personal contract purchase scheme or employee car ownership scheme removes their health and safety responsibilities, but it doesn't.

  • Work Equipment Regulations – under PUWER (Provision and Use Of Work Equipment Regulations 1998) employers have duties to ensure that, in relation to all work equipment provided for use, or used for the company undertaking, it is

    • suitable for use, and for the purpose and conditions in which it is to be used;

    • maintained in a safe condition for use so that people’s health and safety is not at risk;

    • inspected, in certain circumstances, to ensure that it is, and continues to be, safe for use. Any inspection should be carried out by a competent person (this could be an employee if they have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to perform the task)

  • people using work equipment have received adequate training, instruction and information for the particular equipment.

The Moral and Social Responsibility Argument

  • Driving is, without doubt, the most dangerous work-related activity performed by most people in Britain. It is estimated that a third of road deaths involve people driving on business which makes the moral argument demanding that companies take measures to safeguard the lives of their staff and other road users compelling.

The Economic Savings Argument

The savings attributable to a risk management programme can be considerable:

  • a reduction in insurance premiums of at least 15% depending on previous claims record, fleet size and composition

  • fuel consumption improvements of at least 7%

  • reductions of at least 5% in wear and tear on tyres, brakes and clutches etc

  • improved vehicle value of a minimum of 4% if a trained driver drives the car

  • fewer accidents

  • less need for investigation

  • less administration

  • less lost time

  • less requirement for work rescheduling

  • lower training costs

  • fewer missed orders/sales opportunities

  • improved staff morale

  • improved public image

  • protection from prosecution

So what are the potential consequences for the business as a whole?

Corporate Manslaughter - Death caused by the actions or reactions of a company or its employees whilst undertaking their business in a way which could be considered as gross negligence or failure to do their job correctly. The organisation concerned must have owed a “relevant duty of care” to the victim.

Today, the police treat the scene of a fatal road collision as an ‘unlawful killing' and, if appropriate, may interview the employee, managers and directors. Under today's legislation, if the company's actions, or lack of them, is deemed to have contributed to the incident, company representatives may be charged with manslaughter.

Company Reputation - As well as the personal risk and stress, the reputation of the company as a whole may be threatened.

The service we can provide includes

  • Road Risk Management and Assessment

  • Driver Profiling

  • Advanced Driver Licence Testing

  • Driver Risk Awareness Training

  • Safe Driving Policies - for businesses who use vehicles and have more than 5 employees

Find out more by calling 01275 390001 or contacting us today