In 2000, an independent work-related road safety task group carried out a survey, which established that up to a third of all road traffic accidents involve someone who is at work at the time. This is likely to account for over 20 fatalities and 250 serious injuries every week.
While employers have no control over the hazards that may be presented to their employees whilst travelling on public roads, there are some simple steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of harm.
The first step is to carry out an effective risk assessment. When we developed our online Risk Assessment Builder (RAB), we made sure to include the hazards associated with driving at work and sensible suggestions for controlling the risk.
Having conducted the risk assessment, you may identify the need for additional training for the drivers and servicing, maintenance and checks of vehicles.
It is worth remembering that driving in the winter is very different than in other times of the year. Adverse weather and longer periods of darkness makes driving more hazardous. ROSPA recommend that you prepare your car, prepare your journey and prepare yourself.
Drivers should be instructed to carry out checks before setting off on journeys; these checks should include tyres, wipers, washers, lights, brakes, battery and fluid levels.
If employees are setting out on a long journey, check the weather forecast and ensure that someone knows their route and ETA. It is also sensible that they carry an emergency kit in your vehicle.
And if they do find themselves stranded, make sure they know not to panic, stay with their car and call the emergency services.