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  • <Ken Cook

Road Safety Week - What you need to know - Part Two

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.

In this second instalment, we are looking at those factors, specifically highlighting what both employers and employees need to know about accidents, monitoring driving and road transport working time regulations in our road safety week series.

What you need to know about accidents

An accident may occur on company business that causes:

  • damage to vehicles or property;

  • injury or death.

In such cases, the driver and the business may be prosecuted under health and safety legislation and corporate manslaughter legislation, but it is more likely that any prosecution will be under road traffic legislation.

To defend against such action, the business will need to be able to show it has procedures in place with regards to:

  • vehicle and driver safety;

  • the rules on licences and insurance;

  • vehicle maintenance.

What you need to know about monitoring drivers

Time doesn’t stand still when it comes to drivers and their capability. You should carry out annual licence checks on drivers to make sure they are still legally allowed to drive the vehicle they operate.

In addition, you should make ensure that drivers:

  • follow the proper accident reporting procedures;

  • follow the proper procedures for reporting faults with any vehicle;

  • only drive for the hours they are allowed to (see below).

What you need to know about driving and working time

The Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005 define working time as:

  • driving;

  • loading/unloading;

  • training;

  • cleaning and maintaining vehicles;

  • work intended to ensure the safety of the vehicle, cargo and passengers;

  • time when a mobile worker is required to be at the workstation ready to take up normal work;

  • waiting periods before departure.

Working time does not include:

  • travel from home to the usual place of work;

  • periods of availability where the waiting time duration is known but the driver is not required to remain with the vehicle;

  • evening or day release classes;

  • voluntary 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.

Looking for more information?

Visit our blog for the latest news and advice on areas that are affecting your business.

Read our Road Safety Week - Part 1 Read more

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