A new study into drivers working as part of the “gig economy” has laid bare the importance of businesses treating the management of occupational road risk as a mainstream health and safety work issue, says RoSPA.
The research by University College London revealed that 63 per cent of self-employed couriers or taxi drivers surveyed are not provided with safety training on managing risks on the road, while 65 per cent are not given any safety equipment.
The findings highlight mobile phones and apps, and time pressures as being among those issues which could cause an incident.
An estimated 25 to 33 per cent of road casualties are work-related, and in 2016 work-related crashes resulted in 529 deaths and 5,269 serious injuries, showing the vital importance of businesses providing their drivers with the proper training and resources.
John Greenhough, fleet consultant at RoSPA, said: “The findings of the UCL study are worrying, considering the increasing prevalence of the gig economy, combined with the fact that around one third of all fatal and serious road traffic incidents involve someone who was at work at the time.
“This danger is highlighted by those surveyed as part of the research, more than 40 per cent of whom reported their vehicle had been damaged as a result of a collision while working, with one in 10 saying someone had been injured.
“This demonstrates the need, more than ever, for all employers to develop a systematic approach to managing occupational road risk that is appropriate to their business.”
Since 1996, RoSPA has worked to ensure that occupational road risk is addressed as a mainstream health and safety at work issue, and emphasises the role that this has in reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured every year on Britain’s roads.
For more information on managing occupational road risk see www.rospa.com/occupational-safety/our-projects/morr/ and for practical solutions see www.rospa.com/safety-training/on-road/driving-at-work/