Fleets face a raft of health and safety measures, including the investigation of all work-related road incidents, under tough new plans set out by a report funded by police chiefs.
The TRL report, which was funded by the Metropolitan Police Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers, suggests companies are falling behind in the management of work-related road risk compared to the management of general health and safety in the workplace and calls for a national standard to be introduced.
Under the proposals companies would be required to carry out driver licence checks, vehicle maintenance and journey planning, as well as collecting data to monitor performance, including the investigation of incidents.
While companies that adopt a best practice approach to risk management may already be taking these steps there may be many more companies that aren’t. The report suggests that not all companies realise that driving for work is part of workplace health and safety legislation.
The report recommends that measures are put in place to ensure compliance with the standard.
The police’s role
Police need to raise awareness of work-related road safety, offer guidance and support to companies on how to comply with the standard but also be seen to be taking action with at-work drivers who commit offences.
The report states that it is “important for the police to be seen to be prosecuting those who commit offences while driving for work, for example with speeding or using mobile phones”.
The police need to ensure that information regarding traffic offences reaches businesses when the offences have been committed while driving for work.
If several drivers committing similar offences were found to come from the same company this would be followed up with the company, providing an opportunity to discuss the standard.
The BVRLA, which contributed to the report, thinks the police’s role should go further.
John Lewis, chief executive of the BVRLA, said: “Asking the police to keep businesses informed about employees’ committing road traffic offences while driving at work makes perfect sense, but we would go further.
“The BVRLA believes that the police should be given the extra resources to be able to categorise all work-related road accidents and report them to businesses.
“Companies can then start recording these incidents and reporting them as part of their RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) requirements. The government is currently consulting on the future of the RIDDOR and we will be calling for road accidents to be brought into scope.”
Copies of the report ‘A gap analysis of work-related road safety in the UK: Working towards a national standard’ are available here