Fleet News

Unions demand plan to cut fleet accidents

UNIONS representing millions of British workers have demanded a three-point action plan from the Government to reduce at-work road accidents.

Leaders of the Trades Union Congress set out their demands last week following a decision to mobilise thousands of members to make fleet safety a top priority for this year.

TUC general secretary, John Monks is lobbying Ministers to act on 18 recommendations from the Work-Related Road Safety Task Group, submitted last year that set out how the toll of death and injury among business drivers could be reduced.

This would include regular inspections of fleet safety programmes by the Health and Safety Executive.

'Workers who drive for a living are more than three times more likely to be killed at work than any other worker. This tragic toll is a massive £3.7 billion annual cost to society and a sky high £2.7 billion to employers,' said Monks.

'Managers should take as much responsibility for the safety of workers they send onto the roads as they do for people they send onto the factory floor.'

Monks is also calling for additional funding to enable the HSE to fulfil any new responsibilities it is given, but employers are also being targeted. The TUC wants employers to become more responsible for the safety of their drivers and to have proper risk assessments in place – taking steps to:

  • reduce drivers working hours
  • plan routes better to avoid unnecessary journeys
  • introduce better driving training programmes.

    It says the plan could make vital in-roads to reduce some of the 1,000 employees' deaths attributed to at-work road accidents each year, along with 12,000 serious injuries and 70,000 minor injuries.

    TUC health and safety officer Tom Mellish set out the TUC's case in a seminar on Friday at a Government Policy for Strategic and Local Roads seminar, held in Birmingham.

    He argued that because the deaths of employees killed whilst working on the roads are investigated by the police as individual incidents, the root causes behind the accidents – driver fatigue, poor state of company vehicle – may never come to light. Some employers are doing this already, and seeing the benefits. Others need a visit from an HSE Inspector to get them to manage road risks properly', said Monks

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