If your employees use vehicles as part of their job, then there is unfortunately a risk that they could be involved in a car accident. While some accidents are simply unavoidable, there are several measures you can take to limit the risk of this happening to protect your employees. This will in turn protect your business from potential legal action and from reduced production while your employee is off sick. So, as a business what should you do to minimise the risk of accidents?
Health and safety
Employers have a duty to ensure the safety of their employees and this includes driving-related jobs. As a result, it is important that you fully assess the risks of your staff who use vehicles and minimise those risks.
Checks should be carried out on all employees such as ensuring driving licences are valid and that individuals meet eyesight and other health requirements. Training should also be provided and employees should have clear instructions on how to keep themselves safe on the road, how to maintain their vehicle and what to do if their vehicle breaks down.
Holding refresher sessions on the Highway Code is a good idea. Make sure employees who ride bicycles or motorbikes wear crash helmets and protective clothing. It sounds obvious, but you should stress to your employees the importance of not driving while drunk, on drugs or while using a mobile phone.
Keeping vehicles up to scratch
It is crucial that you make sure vehicles are in good shape and fit for purpose, ensuring they have the necessary safety devices such as cameras. Daily checks on vehicles should also be carried out on items like windshield wipers and tyres. Finally, make sure the vehicle is insured for business use, is taxed, serviced and has a valid MOT certificate.
You should take into account external factors such as the weather and when your employees are on the road when considering their safety – sleep related incidents are more likely early in the morning or mid-afternoon.
The route your employees take should be assessed to see if another is more advisable. If an HGV is using a certain route does the vehicle adhere to height or weight restrictions?
Overall, you should not underestimate the need for stringent policies and procedures to make sure your employees are safe when using vehicles and to make sure that they are regularly trained to minimise the risk to them and your business.