Employers are Risking Driver Safety
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has urged employers to maintain business vehicles, after RAC research revealed that company drivers are twice as likely to be involved in a road traffic accident as the average motorist.
“In today’s lean times, when many employers may be tempted to cut costs on vehicle servicing and vehicle checks, we’d remind companies that they are legally responsible for the safety of their employees while at work, and this includes ‘on the road’ work activities,”
said IOSH president Ray Hurst.
“There are around a thousand work-related deaths on the road each year,” he added. “Although these are not officially reported as occupational accidents, they are nevertheless part of a pattern of workplace fatalities. It is vital that all employees who use their vehicle for work get the training and support they need from their employer.”
According to the RAC, call–outs to company cars involved in road traffic accidents could be reduced by 50 per cent by taking some simple steps to maintain vehicles.
“It is imperative to check the condition of tyres since it is now widely recognised that stopping distances can be dramatically reduced if tread is allowed to drop below 3 mm, which could in theory lead to further accidents,” said RAC tactical development manager Elvin Ravenscroft.
“Senior managers should not rely on vehicle servicing alone, but ensure that their drivers carry out basic weekly checks to their vehicles such as engine oil and water levels,”
Robust procedures should also be in place to have company vehicles independently inspected at least every three months to improve their general condition and to demonstrate mitigation in the event that an accident lands a company in court.”
To ensure their vehicles are roadworthy, employers should:
- check the condition of tyres and provide a spare one
- carry out weekly checks of engine oil and water levels
- choose an independent provider to inspect the vehicle every three months
- switch off interior and exterior lights when the vehicle is not in use to save power
- run the engine regularly to replenish the charge of battery, or get a garage to fit a larger capacity battery.
For more information on work-related road safety visit the Department of Transport website