Legislation requires employers to take appropriate steps to ensure the health and safety of their employees and others who may be affected by their activities when at work.
Many employees have the benefit of using company vehicles daily to allow them to fulfil their job description. This could be the most hazardous part of their job, with the Department of Transport stating that more than a quarter of road traffic accidents involve people driving for their work and with a staggering 1,792 people killed on British roads in 2016.
With driving being something that most adults do day in and day out, it is easy to become complacent about what could be one of the most dangerous work activities that many carry out. However, when driving for work, it is not only themselves, but also the company that they work for, who are under the spotlight if something goes wrong.
Employers may not realise it, but they have the same responsibility with company vehicles as they do with any other piece of company equipment given to employees to use. These responsibilities include but are not restricted to ensuring that:
- The vehicle is in good working order
- A system is in place for periodically checking the condition of the vehicle
- Any defects are rectified before use
- The vehicle is maintained as required
- The validity of driving licenses is checked upon employment and periodically thereafter
- The driver has the correct training and competence to use the vehicle
- The activity has been risk assessed
- The driver is fit and healthy enough to keep themselves and others safe
- Enough time is given for routes to be completed safely
- Work related road accidents are recorded and investigated
- Information on how drivers can keep themselves and others safe is provided to employees
- Abide by all road traffic legislation
- Ensure that drivers are aware of the disciplinary actions that could be taken if they do not comply with company rules regarding driving for work
With winter around the corner, it is now more important than ever to ensure that your employees are the right people, have the right training and are given the right level of information to operate machines that if not used correctly, have the possibility of causing disastrous effects.
More information relating to the safe use of company vehicles can be found in the HSE document INDG382, “Driving for Work”.
Head of Compliance