About 50 of these accidents are fatal. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) would like to effectively manage the risks of driving for work. Employers have a responsibility under Health & Safety legislation to ensure the health and safety of their employees as far as reasonably possible.
Improve staff safety when driving
- Check the vehicle before you set off
- Report any problems or faults immediately
- Ensure you are licenced to drive the vehicle
- Plan your journey
- Check the weather before you travel
- Take regular breaks
- Comply with road traffic laws
- Tell your manager if anything affects your driving
The HSE has created a workplace transport safety guide to steer employers in the right direction. This guide provides an overview of managing transport safety in the workplace.
1. Check the vehicle before you set off
Check that the seatbelts are functional and in good repair, mirrors are clean, clear and adjusted correctly, and windscreen wipers are correctly positioned and functional. Ensure there is ample screenwash and that the lights are functional and clean. Finally, ensure that the tyres are properly inflated and have sufficient tread.
2. Report any problems or faults immediately
If you suspect a fault or problem, do not drive the vehicle until it has been checked by a professional. Never drive the vehicle if there is any doubt about its roadworthiness, and ensure that you report this immediately.
3. Ensure you are licenced to drive the vehicle
That means having the appropriate licence for that particular size and type of vehicle—for example, a licence to drive cars, motorcycles, HGVs, fork-lift trucks, etc.
4. Plan your journey
Consider whether your trip is necessary or if you can use a safer form of transport instead (e.g. train). If it's unavoidable, plan your route carefully, avoiding accident blackspots or areas of high congestion (where possible).
5. Check the weather before you travel
Should adverse weather be forecast, consider cancelling or postponing your journey. If you decide to travel still, mitigate the risks by allowing more time for your journey, carrying winter emergency equipment (e.g. a spade, warm clothing, blanket, mobile phone, etc.). And don't forget food and water!
6. Take regular breaks
Plan regular breaks in your journey. Follow the recommendations of taking a 15-minute break for every two hours of driving.
7. Comply with road traffic laws
Stick to the speed limits, wear a seatbelt, and do not use your mobile phone unless your vehicle is parked. Never drive when under the influence of drink or drugs. If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to drive, always wear them.
8. Tell your manager if anything affects your driving
Tell your manager promptly if anything changes to affect your ability to drive legally. Examples include health issues, penalties, accidents, etc.
HSE workplace injury statistics
The most recent HSE statistics show a downward trend in fatal injuries in the workplace. However, 441 000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries in 2020/2021. Of these injuries, the third-highest cause is being struck by a moving object.
Numerous fines are issued for incidents involving moving vehicles or objects on work premises. This is an indication of the importance of driving at work safely; this not only impacts the driver but could impact your colleagues too.
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