Tuesday, 7 August 2007

New Requirements for Driving Impacts All Businesses!

A new Government initiative designed to impact businesses employing 5 employees and over could still affect those with less than 5 staff. The requirements cover both employees driving company vehicles but also employees driving their own cars during work related activities even on a limited basis.

Although the new Department for Transport (DfT). ‘Driving for Work’ initiative was drafted to cover enterprises with 5 and over employees most businesses are unaware that the overarching duty of care for employees under Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 would mean that these requirements result in the need for businesses of all sizes to comply with most of the procedures. There is also a duty of care to others who may be affected by their business activities, which, in the case of driving, means all other road users. Therefore all enterprises should have a 'driving for work' policy then manage their risks accordingly.

Read the notes below and speak to us today to find out how we can help you to comply at minimal cost, for more information Click here

Still Not Convinced it’s Important That You to Act Today?

Here are some frightening statistics!

  • There are an estimated 3 million company cars on the roads and roughly 1 in 3 will be involved in an accident each year.²
  • Company drivers who drive more than 80% of their annual mileage on work related journeys have more than 50% more injury accidents than similar drivers who do no work related mileage.²
  • Business drivers have collision rates that are 30 – 40% higher than those of private drivers.
  • Every week around 200 road deaths and serious injuries involves someone at work.
    About 300 people are killed each year as a result of drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
  • About 4 in 10 tiredness-related crashes involve someone driving a commercial vehicle.²
  • Work-related road accidents are the biggest cause of work-related accidental death. Between 800 and 1000 people are killed annually in work-related road traffic accidents compared to approximately 250 fatalities due to accidents notified annually under the Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

    1 National Travel Survey
    2 DFT Road Research Report No. 51

So what is the business case for this initiative?

Work-related road accidents have more hidden costs many employers realise. The cost is much more than the garage bill for the damaged vehicle and in many cases less might be covered by insurance than can be assumed. It has been estimated that the full cost to the employer might be £8 to £36 for every pound paid on an insurance claim. Some items cannot be covered by insurance.

The following is a list of items business may find they have to cover themselves:

  • Loss of company reputation and contracts
  • Fines and costs of prosecution
  • Damage to products/ plant/ building and equipment
  • Staff down time for medical appointments/attendance at court etc
  • Replacement staff costs and sick pay
  • Loss of production or production delays
  • Increased insurance premiums and excess
  • Excess on a claim
  • Offenders’ own legal fees
  • Claims from third parties
  • Accident investigation and paperwork
  • Repairs to damaged equipment
  • Alternative transport for repair duration
  • Inconvenience
  • Re-delivery
  • Management and administrative time.

Of course it’s best not to have a crash in the first place - and it’s been proven that some simple measures any firm can take will make one much less likely.

The Benefits to the Employer
The benefits of implementing and managing a driving for work policy include:

  • Reduced accident losses
  • Defence against criminal prosecutions and civil litigation
  • Lower insurance premiums
  • Lower transport costs
  • Improved business performance
  • More effective vehicle use
  • Less down time
  • Improved safety culture
  • Improved public image
  • Higher staff morale

What do you need to do?

The basic system for managing ‘driving for work’ comprises the following elements:

  • Draw up an overall policy statement
  • carry out risk assessments
  • minimise risk through control measures
  • implement rules and procedures
  • manage data recording
  • audit, communication and review

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