Road safety – employers responsibility

04/07/15 General

Every week around 20 people are killed and 220 seriously injured in crashes involving someone who was using the road for work.

Under guidelines produced by the Health and Safety Executive, work related journeys should be covered by an employer’s health and safety system.

SO WHAT DO EMPLOYERS NEED TO DO?

  • Pre-employment licence checks – Before employing someone it is important to carry out document checks to ensure there are no current motoring convictions leading to the potential invalidation of insurance for both employer and employee.
  • Annual document checks – Employers owe the same duty of care under health and safety law to staff who drive their own vehicles for work as they do to employees who drive company owned, leased or hired vehicles. It is fairly simple for employers to introduce measures such as regular inspection of MOT and service certificates and to conduct regular checks of private vehicles used for work.
  • Ensure employees are properly insured – It is an offence, under road traffic law, to cause or permit a person to drive a vehicle without insurance. It is therefore important to make regular checks with employees to ensure they have business use on their own private car policy.
  • Driver training – Training and consultation plays a vital role in health and safety schemes for employees who drive for business. Training can help staff to conduct regular vehicle safety checks, help employees to understand the need for monitoring and limiting driver hours, and understand the need for safe driving practices.
  • Vehicle maintenance – Employers need to have procedures in place to ensure all vehicles (irrespective of who owns them) used for work purposes conform to road traffic laws, are safe and properly maintained, and are fit for purpose.
  • Record incidents – It is necessary to require staff who are involved in a work related crash, including damage- only incidents, to report this to their manager, even if the vehicle is privately owned. Employers should then investigate whether the condition of the vehicle contributed to the crash and what (if any) action is necessary to prevent repeat occurrences. It is also important to keep the company’s insurers informed.

Employers may also be asked to demonstrate to their insurer how they are protecting their business. If you have carried out at least some of these steps this will give your insurer more confidence that you are mitigating your risks, and they may be more likely to offer more favourable terms to you. Such measures will also more than pay for themselves by reducing consequential accident costs, many of which, such as lost staff time, may be uninsured.

For more information on these checks please contact us.