Over 5,000 accidents involving transport in the workplace are recorded by the HSE each year, with 50 resulting in fatalities. So, with such a high number of accidents being recorded, how can business owners ensure employees and customers driving to work are kept safe?
Keep records of all agency drivers
While it is common practice for many companies to hire agency drivers, it can be more difficult to remain compliant with employer duties than with permanent members of staff. Ensuring agency drivers have all necessary licences, insurance and training can be tricky.
To minimise the risks this presents, we advise that agency staff are treated just like permanent staff members, with the same training and licences required from all. We recommend employers keep a record of all agency drivers, checking that they have been DVLA checked, that they hold a full Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), and that they have undertaken the required 35 hours of CPC training every five years to remain qualified.
Ensuring a safe site
As a recent well known company accident showcased, customer loading and unloading in a yard can present serious risks. Poor site design and a lack of awareness of the importance of a safe site can result in a serious accident.
To prevent this, duty holders should assess their loading and unloading areas to ensure, where reasonably practicable, that vehicle movements are separated from pedestrian movements. Pedestrians and vehicles should be effectively segregated using designated barriers, walkways and signage where possible.
Simple vehicle safety
A common area of vehicle safety that many business owners overlook is the wearing of seatbelts, particularly when operating forklift trucks. This was highlighted by the prosecution of Wilkinson’s Distribution Centre after a forklift driver died when thrown from the vehicle as he was not wearing a seatbelt.
We recommend that all vehicles are fitted with a seatbelt, including retrofitting older vehicles where possible. It’s also important to promote to both full time and agency vehicle operators the importance of wearing a seatbelt. This can be achieved by stating it within the company safety policy and driver handbook, and by placing signs and posters throughout the site.
Reducing the risks from driving at work
» Select company vehicles and allocate driving duties carefully
» Consider whether face-to-face meetings that require participants to drive are necessary – could telephone or video conferencing be used instead?
» Consider whether driving is the only option – could people walk, cycle or use public transport? Could a delivery service be used instead?
» Avoid setting unrealistic delivery schedules or deadlines, which may encourage drivers to exceed speed limits or take shortcuts or other risks.
» Make it clear drivers should not use mobile phones whilst driving. If this is unavoidable, they must be provided with an appropriate hands-free-set.
For many business owners, safely managing driving within the workplace can be tricky. However, following these tips can prevent many of the potential risks to both employees and customers when driving at work. Safety Media provide an interactive Driving Safety Course and Safe Movement of Vehicles Course; this will enable your employees to identify the risks posed by the movement of vehicles at work and recognise common types of accidents relating to vehicle movement. If you would like more information on our courses, please feel free to contact us today on +44(0)1745535000 or alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org