Driving is the most dangerous work activity that most people do, and it contributes to far more work-related accidental deaths and serious injuries than all other work activities.
Very few organisations can operate without using the road. Millions of vehicles – lorries, vans, taxis, buses, emergency service vehicles, company cars, motorcycles, bicycles – are used for work purposes, and many people work on foot on the road (maintenance workers, refuse collectors, postal workers, vehicle breakdown employees, the police and so on).
Unfortunately, all these workers face risks on the road because they are doing their jobs. They can also create risks for everyone else on the road.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimate that “more than a quarter of all road traffic incidents may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time.”
Police road accident data shows that every year over 500 people are killed (almost one third of all road deaths), 5,000 seriously injured and almost 40,000 slightly injured in collisions involving drivers or riders who are driving for work1. This includes other road users, as well as at-work drivers and riders themselves. In fact, most of those killed on work-related journeys are passengers, pedestrians and riders rather than the at-work drivers and riders.
HSE’S Driving at Work Guidelines state that:
“health and safety law applies to on-the-road work activities and the risks should be effectively managed within
a health and safety system.”
This means that you need to put in place policies, people and procedures to enable you to understand:
- How your organisation uses the road (the staff who do so, the vehicles they use and the journeys they make)
- The risks this creates to your staff and other people
- The potential consequences of those risks, and
- The measures needed to manage and reduce these risks and consequences.
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