Updated guidance on work-related road risk has been issued to clear up confusion over where responsibility for legal compliance lies when employees use personal vehicles as part of their job.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), working in partnership with the Department for Transport (DfT), says the move is a result of the growing gig economy and an increasing grey fleet.
“This has created some confusion over where responsibility for legal compliance lies”, the regulator says.
HM Inspector for HSE’s Transport and Public Services Unit, Nicola Jaynes, added: “The Health and Safety at Work Act sets out the legal duties of employers and those engaged to work for them, their responsibilities to manage WRRR are nothing new. However, the landscape is changing and we wanted to ensure guidance reflects these changes and also remains relevant for years to come.
“Companies who otherwise have robust health and safety policies sometimes fail to consider their responsibilities adequately when it comes to driving or riding for work. Everyone should come home from work safe and well, whether they’re working behind a desk or behind the wheel.”
The HSE says that all drivers and riders have an individual responsibility for their driving behaviour under road traffics laws.
"However, when driving for work, the organisation they work for has legal responsibility for their employees’ health and safety." it adds.
It adds that driving for work is likely to be the most dangerous activity most workers will undertake, highlighting that:
- Every week there are around 200 deaths and serious injuries involving people using the road for work
- It is estimated that 40,000 people working in occupations such as sales, deliveries or taxi-driving are involved in road traffic collisions every year
- Company car drivers in the UK are 49% more likely to be involved in traffic collisions, even after correcting for demographic variables and their relatively high mileages
- Countless others will suffer stress, anxiety and/or minor injuries from unreported incidents.