New statistics have revealed that almost one in three road crashes involve people who are using their vehicle for work. And that places managers in logistics and transport businesses at possible risk of jail under a new law which came into force at the start of this year. The new stats were announced last week at the International Conference on Road Safety at Work, and have been analysed by experts at leading training company Pivotal Performance.
It is up to managers to ensure that their employees have been given correct guidance on driving safely while working, said Pivotal Performances Jane Gillham. This means having policies in place to cover things such as not using handheld mobile phones while driving, and sticking to all relevant road safety laws even if they are running late for an appointment. Managers need to do risk assessments on using vehicles for work; put policies in place and ensure employees get training where appropriate. If an employee is hurt while driving during work there is a chance their manager could be prosecuted.
Company directors and managers are in the firing line thanks to the Health and Safety Offences Act 2008, which will came into force in six months ago (January 2009). The law makes employers personally accountable for the safety of their employees during the course of their work. Breaches could see managers or directors jailed, or face Magistrates Court fines of up to 20,000. Jane added: You would be correct in thinking that you cant control how an employee drives during work. But you should at least be giving them as much clear guidance as you can to try and take as much risk out of driving as you can. With one in three crashes now involving an employee driving for work, the odds are too high for any manager to ignore.
Pivotal Performance is one of the UKs leading health and safety training companies. Its training method, called PPTplus, teaches delegates how to win commitment from others, not just compliance.