Road Safety Week - What you need to know - Part Three
This week is Road Safety Week; a great number of businesses have employees whose role involves driving, either full-time or as part of their job.
However, there are many factors, both organisational and legal, involved in ensuring that these employees carry out their jobs safely both in respect of themselves and anyone else with whom they come into contact.
As we continue raising awareness of road safety, this final instalment covers what you need to know about working time limits, and what to do when an employee has another job that could affect their ability to drive. We wrap up with common areas to be aware of when being a responsible employer.
What you need to know about working time limits
Mobile workers (those with no fixed workplace or who work at multiple locations):
can work an average 48 hours per week and 60 hours per week maximum;
can’t work for more than 6 consecutive hours without a break;
must have a break of at least 30 minutes if the total hours to be worked are between 6 and 9 hours a day;
must have breaks totalling at least 45 minutes if more than 9 hours per day are worked.
Night work can be for a maximum of 10 hours, provided the rule on the 48-hour average/60-hour maximum working week is followed.
Other specific limits on driving and working time apply to driving goods vehicles fitted with tachographs.
What you need to know about employees with other jobs
If an employee has a second job, the hours worked for that employer must be combined with the hours they do for you, so the working time limits are not exceeded.
What you need to know about factors that affect ability to drive
The following common factors can affect someone’s ability to drive safely:
Eyesight. Employers do not have to pay for an eye test for drivers, but they are required to ensure employees are generally fit to drive. This means it’s usually a good idea to pay for eye tests for drivers.
Fatigue. Employers should provide training to drivers on the risks of driving when tired and how to spot signs of fatigue.
Medication, alcohol and drugs. A company should have a zero-tolerance stance on driving under the influence of these. If an employee has prescribed medication, they should seek a doctor’s advice on whether they are fit to drive.
Mental health. Stress, depression or anxiety can lead to risky or dangerous driving. Employers should train employees on the effect mental health can have on driving safety and support employees with mental health conditions that may affect any aspect of their work.
There are a great many laws and regulations surrounding driving and road safety and it is often difficult for employers, particularly in small businesses, to keep up with them all. This becomes all the more important if there is an incident involving an employee while they are driving, even if there is no injury or fatality involved. The advice and guidance of legal and safety professionals is crucial in developing safe working practices and policies.
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