Everyone driving at work deserves to be safe
Employers with drivers or riders have to be responsible for their safety.
Safety matters when you’re driving for work
Driving is a dangerous work activity. In fact, it causes more work-related accidental deaths and serious injuries than anything else.
That’s why the safety of drivers or riders at work is so important and why all employers have to comply with Management of Occupational Road Risk (MORR) in a Health and Safety setting.
What you need to know
- To minimise risk, all employers should have a driving policy
- There should be regular checks on driving licences
- Proper training and assessments also need to be carried out
- Checking vehicle safety is important
- Safe driving practices should always be in place
Driving for work policy
As driving can be so dangerous, it’s up to employers to have a standard Driving for Work policy in place. This can help to reduce serious injuries and deaths.
Here are the main areas that should be covered in a standard policy:
The aims and objectives of the policy
A code of conduct
Vehicle selection and maintenance
Drivers’ hours, training, handbooks and responsibilities
Safe driving behaviour and fuel efficiency
Collision and breakdown procedures
Accident investigation and data collection
Using your own vehicle for work
Policy review date
Checking driving licences
It’s up to all businesses to regularly check their employees’ driving licences. This should be done either every six months or once a year.
Here are a few things worth knowing:
- Carry out regular checks to make sure there are no out-of-date photocard licences (valid for 10 years)
- During the employment process, the category of licence should be checked to ensure it’s valid for the vehicle the new employee will be driving
- A driver must tell their employer about any points or disqualifications
- Drivers also need to declare any diagnosed or suspected medical conditions that might stop them from driving
Training and assessments can make a difference
Having properly-trained drivers can lower the chance of accidents and any vehicle damage.
It’s usually best to make an initial assessment, which can highlight any issues before work starts.
If a new type of vehicle is being used, it’s important that all current and new drivers know exactly how it works. This can help prevent the possible cause of a breakdown.
Drivers need to check their vehicle
When it comes to a work vehicle, it’s the driver’s responsibility to make sure it’s well maintained through daily checks.
If there’s anything wrong, it should be reported through the channels set out in the company procedures.
Here’s what should be checked daily:
- Tyres for tread depth and pressure
- Oil, coolant and brake fluid levels
- All lights, the horn, windscreen wipers and washers
- All windows, making sure they’re clean
- Any other specialist equipment on the vehicle
Safe driving is always the best practice
One of the best ways that employees can stay safe on the road is by having a good understanding of driving rules and laws.
This is particularly important around things like:
- Drink and drug driving
- Mobile phone use
Employers need to make sure that all their drivers have clear and up-to-date guidance, including the recent changes made to the Highway Code.
Important new rules.
- There’s now a new hierarchy of road users
- Those who can do the most harm have the greatest responsibility
- Drivers and riders have to give way to pedestrians crossing a road
- Pedestrians and cyclists have priority when turning in and out of junctions
- Drivers and riders need to give plenty of space when passing others. At least:
- 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at up to 30mph
- 2 metres and under 10mph for horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles
- 2 metres and a low speed when passing pedestrians walking on a road
- Cyclists can go in the centre of the lane, or two side-by-side for their own safety
- In a vehicle, the door should be opened with the hand furthest from the door, helping to make drivers look over their shoulder to see cyclists or pedestrians nearby