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HSE Cornerstones – May 2021

Ensure Proper Safety Precautions for Employees Who Drive for Work

Operating a motor vehicle comes with a number of inherent risks for both individuals and organisations. It’s important for any employers that include driving in employees’ responsibilities to take proper precautions.

As an employer, you are not only responsible for the health and safety of employees who get behind the wheel, but you may also be held liable for accidents or injuries that the employee might cause to others. If your organisation is found to be responsible for an incident that occurred while an employee was operating a vehicle, it could have severe financial consequences. In addition, partners or clients may lose confidence in your drivers or even your organisation as a whole.

With these potential repercussions in mind, employers should take the following steps in order to minimise risk related to employee driving:

  • Assess risks—Any employers that have workers who drive are required to conduct a risk assessment that includes the employees and any others who might be affected by their driving.
  • Establish policies—Keep driving-related tasks formally organised by implementing processes for planning journeys, training drivers and conducting vehicle maintenance.
  • Check qualifications—It’s important for employers to be sure that their employees are allowed to utilise vehicles for intended tasks. Employers can check which vehicles their employees are allowed to drive, as well as review drivers’ penalty points or disqualifications by clicking here.
  • Insure properly—Some motor insurance policies may not cover employees who use their own personal vehicle to drive for work-related reasons. Check with employees to learn more about their cover and obtain the proper policies if necessary.
  • Consider eye care—Given their responsibilities, drivers must have adequate vision. Employers should ensure that drivers have their vision checked regularly and consider comprehensive eye care programmes.

When an organisation sends employees out on to the road, they must be aware of not only risks that may affect the employee themselves, but also everyone else who they will share the road with. For more information, contact us today. Further Motor Fleet Risk Management documents are available here.

Employers Liability Claims Example

Garage Door Firm Fined for Asbestos Safety Failings

After failing to properly manage asbestos during work, Garage Doors (Northern) Ltd. was fined £10,000 for breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The incident involved two employees who were attempting to remove and replace an integrated garage door. The task called for the employees to drill holes into the ceiling for new roof bars, but the ceiling itself was made of asbestos insulating board. The home’s ventilation system then spread asbestos fibres throughout the house, resulting in the homeowner having to vacate the premises and live in a hotel for 11 months. An HSE investigation revealed that Garage Doors failed to carry out an adequate assessment of whether asbestos was present on the premises. The firm pleaded guilty before Preston Magistrates’ Court and was also ordered to pay costs of £1,589.

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