Fleet News

Fleets face fresh crash clampdown

A MAJOR review of the way workplace injuries are reported could see companies having to provide details of how many of their drivers have been involved in motoring accidents.

The data would be used to create a detailed picture of the scale of injuries from at-work road accidents and would be designed to encourage companies to sharpen up their health and safety policies.

There is clear evidence from the report that information would also be used as the basis for prosecutions.

Fleets are being invited to give their views on proposals for change to the review of Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) put forward by the Health and Safety Commission (HSC).

In 2001, the Work-Related Road Safety Task Group recommended at-work road accidents were included in the regulations and the review document shows the authorities are acting on its advice.

The review asks whether to make road accidents reportable under the regulations and, despite the risk of ‘an unnecessary burden on businesses’, it says ‘reports could be used to target investigations by the enforcing authorities’. It also adds that a closer watch on at-work road accidents would ‘encourage duty holders to manage work-related road safety as part of their overall health and safety system’.

In its discussion document, the HSC says: ‘We do not generally seek to apply Health and Safety at Work legislation where there is more specific and detailed law (in this case, the Road Traffic Acts and related regulations administered by other enforcing agencies) that adequately protects public and worker safety. Road traffic law is enforced by the police and others, eg the highways authorities and traffic commissioners.

The police will, in most cases, take the lead in the investigation of road traffic incidents on the public highway. HSE would only make limited use of this information to target enforcement action.’

Health and Safety Commission chairman Bill Callaghan said: ‘RIDDOR is one of the most important sources of information for the enforcing authorities and guides some, but not all, regulatory activity.

However, the case has yet to be made as to whether RIDDOR is really the best means of gathering information on occupational health and for the purposes of health and safety statistics, or whether we could rely on other mechanisms to collect this information.’

The review comes amid a flurry of activity around work-related road safety, including a renewed push for a Corporate Manslaughter Bill and the decision by police to record whether drivers were on a business or private journey following accidents.

Comments are invited on the document before June 30. For details, log on to www.hse.gov.uk/consult/index.htm and look for ‘The Review of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)’.

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