John Carroll – LCE Safety Consultant & Trainer answers your work related health and safety queries as part of our monthly Q&A session.
Following on from the Q&A with Safety Consultant Roddy McGowan about Driving In Winter Weather, we received a number of questions about Driving For Work as whole. Therefore, John Carroll, LCE Safety Consultant outlines some of what you need to know about Driving For Work.
What is driving for work?
Driving for work includes any person who drives on a road as part of their work either in:
• A vehicle provided by their employer; or
• Their own vehicle and receives an allowance or payment from their employer for distances driven.
This includes driving for meetings or to other company sites.
Driving for work involves a risk not only for drivers, but also for fellow workers and members of the public such as pedestrians and other road users who share the road space. People who drive for work have a higher collision rate than the general driving population, even after their higher mileages are taken into account.
Is commuting part of driving for work?
Commuting to work is not generally classified as driving for work, except where the person’s journey starts from their home and they are travelling to a work location that is not their normal place of work.
What does the law require?
Health and Safety law applies to driving for work in the same way as for all work activities. As an employer, you should have a safety management system in place for managing all work related risks. Driving for work risks should be managed as part of this system. You must also make sure your employees are:
• legally entitled to drive the vehicle they are using,
• using a vehicle that is safe and roadworthy,
• trained, competent and fit to drive their vehicle safely, and
• using their vehicle safely.
What is a driver vehicle assessment?
A driver vehicle assessment is review of the driver and their car to identify key risk factors, based on the principles of ergonomics. The assessment takes place with the driver in the vehicle and involves interview, observation and measurement of critical parameters. The overall aim is to ensure the driver has adjusted their vehicle accordingly and, in doing so, have reduced the risk of injury occurring. It is best practice to carry out a driver vehicle assessment on any person who uses their vehicle for work.