Road Safety Week

Road Safety Week begins on 14th November this year, but as an employer, have you considered your responsibilities to your workers who drive for work.

Note the term ‘driving for work’ rather than ‘driving to work’ and don’t forget to consider bicycles, motorbikes or other two-wheeled vehicles.

Health and safety law applies to work activities on the road just as they would on an organisation’s site, and with driving or riding for work being one of the most high-risk tasks your employees can carry out, it really pays to ensure they’re as safe as possible.

Management of health and safety should include carrying out a risk assessment for any driving/riding activities. Hazards that can cause harm to the driver or rider, and other road users when driving for work include:

• roadworks, traffic, and congestion

• vehicle condition

• fatigue and distraction

• time pressures

• the weather

• behaviour of other road users

Journeys should be planned and managed carefully, the competence and capabilities of those driving should be taken into account, vehicles should be appropriate for the journey, well maintained and kept in a safe condition and your employees’ health and wellbeing considered.

Ensuring your employee is fit to drive is imperative. Workers need to be particularly aware of how dangerous fatigue can be as it increases reaction time and reduces vigilance, alertness, and concentration, which impairs the ability to drive.

Drivers and riders are most likely to suffer from fatigue:

• on long journeys on monotonous roads, such as motorways

• between 2am and 6am or 2pm and 4pm

• after eating

• after long working hours or on journeys home after long shifts, especially night shifts

Drivers should be well rested (minimum 7-8 hours’ sleep the previous night) and stop at least every 2 hours for rests.

Contact us for further advice on this or any other aspect of health and safety compliance for your business.