Road Safety Week (18-24 November): employers urged to step up policies and procedures

As part of Road Safety Week 2019, taking place this week (18-24 November) employers are being asked to step up their driving at work policies and procedures to ensure they choose safe systems solutions.

New research by road safety Charity Brake, organisers of the event, has revealed that nearly a third of adults were in a collision, or had a near miss, with a vehicle on a UK road in the past year. The research, from a survey of 2,000, has been published to highlight the level of danger felt on UK roads and to encourage people to “Step Up for Safe Streets” for National Road Safety Week 2019.

Around a third of all road collisions are believed to involve someone driving for work, making the week an opportunity for employers to take a fresh look at their policies and procedures and consider what could be done to ensure employees are travelling to and at work safely.

Driving for Better Business commissioned a survey to explore the underlying attitudes and behaviours that persist in organisations where employees drive for work-related purposes.

The survey sought to explore where employers’ or employees’ actions – or inaction – could contribute to an increase in occupational road risk through driver distraction, stress, poor maintenance practices and lack of awareness or non-compliance with legal requirements.

Key findings include:

  • There is a disconnect between senior management’s claims of good practice and what the employees driving for work are experiencing.
  • Leaders often fail to ensure all employees who drive for work are aware of and implement the company’s driving for work policy.
  • Most executives don’t know whether or how often staff use their own cars for business yet 90% of the employees surveyed said they did and a surprising number of them were not insured to do so.
  • Awareness of the need for regular vehicle checks is extremely low.
  • Work schedules for employees that drive for work are contributing to stress.

Says a spokesperson for Driving for Better Business:
“Employers and employees have a shared responsibility, and indeed a legal obligation, to manage it (driving at work) effectively, because health and safety law applies to work activities on the road in the same way as it does to all work activities.

A comprehensive and robust driving for work policy is fundamental for any organisation that has employees that drive for work. However, management and leaders need to recognise factors that go beyond compliance with existing regulations and legislation. Policies should recognise and deal with factors that can affect employee wellbeing and lead to poor decision-making while driving for work.

Driving for work policies are only valuable if they are communicated effectively and complied with across the entire organisation. Leaders, management and employees all have a responsibility to abide by the guidance in the organisation’s driving for work policies.”