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Driving for work: Part one: Company cars and your responsibilities as an employer

Driving causes more job-related injuries and accidental deaths than any other work activity, but our easy guide can help keep your employees safe while on the road.

03 September 2019

Driving causes more job-related injuries and accidental deaths than any other work activity. According to police road accident data, almost a third of road deaths each year involve drivers on the road for work purposes, with 5,000 seriously injured in collisions with people driving as part of their job.

One way you can lower the danger to your employees and other road users is by implementing policies to help manage the risks. To make this process simpler, we’ve broken the subject down into two easy guides with everything you need to know. In part one, we’ll cover your responsibilities as an employer, as well as the necessary checks you need to put in place to keep your team and their fellow drivers safe.

When putting together driving at work policies and procedures, there are a few things you need to consider:
• First of all, how does your company use the road? This includes the staff members who drive, the vehicles they use and the journeys they make
• What risks do these activities pose to others on the road, including pedestrians
• The possible consequences of those risks
• The measures you can use to manage the risks and prevent negative consequences from occurring.

Along with keeping your team safe while at work, these procedures help to protect other motorists, save money by reducing incidents, lessen business interruptions and improve efficiency, as well as helping businesses to avoid the negative publicity associated with road traffic accidents.

These policies and procedures also extend to drivers who use their own vehicles for work purposes, known as “Grey Fleet” vehicles. For more information on Grey Fleet vehicles and keeping your employees safe, click here.

Make safe driving the only option

The first step in promoting road safety at work is to ensure that employees of all levels are aware that they need to lead by example. This means senior management need to drive responsibly and adhere to the rules of the road. If employees have any concerns regarding your company’s driving policy or procedure, ensure they understand that they can raise any issues with their line manager or a safety representative.

Keep staff informed

Your employees should know better than anyone the requirements of their role, so it’s a good idea to get their input when adjusting road safety policies. It is also recommended that you review your policies and procedures at regular intervals, preferably in the presence of a safety representative.

Make sure all vehicles are safe and legal

You can help to keep your vehicles safe by staying up to date with the necessary checks to make sure they are legal, roadworthy and appropriate for the job role. This includes checking for minimum safety features, such as seat belts, head restraints and a driver’s airbag. It’s also worth consulting with staff and looking into optional extras – such as Autonomous Emergency Braking and Electronic Stability Control – that can help them to do their job more safely. You should also remove any in-car distractions that can increase the likelihood of an accident occurring.

Train your drivers

It is important to evaluate a driver’s attitude and road awareness during the recruitment process, and to continue this across the term of their employment. This includes analysing their approach to issues such as drugs and alcohol, especially if they have previous motoring offences. It is also recommended that employer’s provide practical training for drivers, with a special focus on young drivers, drivers learning a new type of vehicle, those with a crash history or with the largest mileages. Giving managers appropriate training can also help to ensure that your company policies and procedures are upheld, particularly when it comes to investigating incidents, as they can identify the cause and recommend measures to prevent repeat occurrences.

Ask drivers to report accidents or motoring offences

It’s not pleasant, but requesting that drivers report any accidents and motoring offences – whether at work or off-duty – to their line manager means that action (if appropriate) can be taken to ensure these issues are not repeated. It’s also important to keep your insurance company informed, as failure to keep them in the loop can result in your insurance being cancelled. It is also recommended that employers record not only incidents, but any near misses, as they can provide useful details that can prevent accidents in the future.

For more information on keeping your employees safe while driving for work purposes, ask about our Occupational Road Risk Management assessments. We offer simple and effective policies and procedures to help you minimise the risk to your staff while on the road, whatever vehicle they drive.

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