According to the HSA (Health & Safety Authority), there have been over 14,000 road collisions between 2008 and 2011 which may have been related to work. Of these collisions, it is estimated that a staggering 9,427 involved private cars. Generally speaking driving to and from the normal place of work is not considered driving for work but where private vehicles are driven from work they are considered the “grey fleet”. This could include an employee visiting a client site or making a collection from a supplier using their own vehicle. The employer is responsible for safely managing these journeys.
In October 2019, the HSA published a document which specifically outlines their expectations for the management of “grey fleet”. It is understood that employers cannot directly influence road conditions but whether your business requires the use of buses, trucks, vans, branded company vehicles, personal vehicles or a combination of all of these, as an employer you must have processes in place to influence and promote safe driving practices.
There are many ways in which an employer can promote a safe driving culture and the necessary compliance with expected requirements. This usually begins with a risk assessment. As an employer you must ensure:
- That drivers are suitably qualified to drive, for example holding valid & correct licences for the vehicle in question or maintaining up to date CPC training
- That employees are aware of your expected standards of driving through formal communication of policies, training related to driving for work and as a minimum this should include compliance with the “Rules of the Road”
- That employees are fit to drive, taking account of factors such as medical fitness, tiredness & rest periods, medication etc.
- That the vehicle driven is roadworthy, including statutory vehicle inspections such as NCT & CVRT, ongoing maintenance & regular vehicle inspections
- That journeys are adequately planned to take account of any factors which might influence it, including road conditions, duration of the journey, traffic restrictions and weather
Acacia have recently reviewed and updated our own internal procedures which is due to be rolled out to our employees shortly. We can also assist employers in completing these risk assessments and developing documented procedures to help ensure that compliance requirements are met.
If you would like to know more contact us here.