Reducing the risks for employees who drive for work31.01.2019
Employers have a duty of care to keep their employees safe while driving for work. This was the key message at a Driving for Work Risk Management conference in Dublin organised by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the Road Safety Authority (RSA), the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) and An Garda Síochána.
Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC said: “Using the roads is a necessary part of our working lives. But it's an ordinary activity that leads to an incredibly high level of injury and death.
The introduction of new EU vehicle safety standards can improve work related road safety through new vehicle technologies and designs, and we hope to see these measures adopted later in 2019. However, employers can include these technologies and vehicle designs in their fleets now, there is no need to wait. ETSC would encourage employers to embrace these new standards to maximise the benefits of managing road safety in the workplace.”
Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, RSA speaking at the conference said: “Driving for work is a high-risk activity. It is estimated that driving for work accounts for involvement in 1 in 3 road collisions every year.
While drivers are responsible for how they drive, employers have duties in helping to make driving for work safer. Every employer has a duty of care to their employees, to take measures to ensure that work-related journeys are safe, members of staff are able to drive safely, and all vehicles and associated equipment are fit for use. As procurers of services we need to ensure that road safety is a key consideration in the awarding and selection of any contracts. If you do outsource contracts remember that you cannot outsource your responsibility to road safety.’’
Dr. Sharon McGuinness, Chief Executive Officer, HSA said: “Safe driving for work should be a key part of an organisation’s health and safety policy. Employees who drive for work face a variety of risks on the roads every day. Employers have a duty to manage those risks, both for the driver and for other road users who may be affected. The fact that an employee is on the road and not on the business premises does not lessen the employer’s duty of care to that employee.”
Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn, An Garda Síochána said: “With our partners in the Road Safety Authority and the Health & Safety Authority, An Garda Síochána has been involved in educating employers and employees on their responsibilities in relation to driving for work and ensuring that the risks associated with driving for work are reduced.
This education programme combined with our enforcement activity will ensure that professional drivers are fully licensed, compliant with drivers’ hours and tachograph legislation, as well as being up to date with their Certificate of Professional Competence obligations. In addition we will, in conjunction with the RSA and HSA through our multi-agency checkpoints, check commercial vehicles for safety defects, ensure that vehicles meet road safety standards and that all health and safety legislation requirements are met.”
• The latest ETSC progress reports on road safety across Europe can be downloaded at: https://etsc.eu/wp-content/uploads/PIN_AR_2018_final.pdf; https://etsc.eu/wp-content/uploads/PIN_FLASH33-final.pdf
• For further background on road safety at work, visit: www.drivingforwork.ie and http://etsc.eu/praise