The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has advised fleets that they should be carrying out driver risk assessments at least annually. The recommendation was shared at a special seminar held by fleet provider ACFO and speaking on behalf of the HSE, Andrew Wetters policy advisor for the workplace transport division of the body shared his professional advice.
The seminar gave the HSE representative an opportunity to state that fleet companies have an obligation to keep their employees up to date in all aspects of road safety, be that on a daily basis in terms of weather warnings and planning for journeys ahead or in more long term cases. He also took the opportunity to urge companies to carry out annual risk assessments saying they ‘should be done at a minimum annually to have a full review.’ As a minimum every employee must be aware of their risks in relation to the duties they perform and of course, the law requires that all employers in every sector, including transport, has appropriate risk assessments in place and appropriate includes that they are up to date and understood by all employees.
Work-Related Road Risks on the Agenda
Wetters continued to push forward the line that work-related road risks are a company problem and something people even at the top of a fleet company should be focused on. One of his core messages at the seminar was that employers should be acting before and not after an accident, as action afterwards is reactionary and doesn’t solve the core issue. He once again mentioned planning at this point as well-planned journeys lead to less fatigue and less fatigue leads to less accidents as it is removed as a risk factor.
Incident reporting too came up as Wetters made the link between minor bumps and scuffs and what could be an underlying issue for a driver such as spatial awareness problems or eyesight problems.
75% of Accidents involve someone Driving for Work
HSE’s own figures suggest that three quarters of all accidents involve somebody who is driving for work and whilst they aren’t necessarily in an HGV or fleet vehicle, this figure does include a significant number of this type of vehicle. The HSE provide a full guide for employers so they have the information they need to protect employees driving for work as well as other road users.
There have been calls to ban HGVs from rush hour and inner city roads for the protection of other road users but from a fleet owners perspective this can be difficult as there is still work to be done but there do need to be changes to protect all road users, including those driving for works and the HSE are pushing forward with their commitment to ensuring all employees are aware of everything necessary to drive safely for work.