The Department for Transport recently published their final estimates for reported road casualties in Great Britain involving illegal alcohol levels in 2017. These final figures show a reduction in the total number of accidents involving drink drivers, (down to 5,700 from 6,070 in 2016) and a reduction in the total number of casualties (down to 8,600 from 9,040 in 2016). Despite this the number of people killed in accidents involving drink drivers increased from 220 in 2016 to 250 in 2017.
While there has been a dramatic fall in casualties in the long term (in 1979 the figures were 1,640 people killed out of 31,430 total casualties in 19,470 accidents) figures have been fairly stable since 2010.
An employer’s responsibility for health and safety at work includes situations where employees are driving for work. It is estimated that over a quarter of all accidents on the road involve someone who was driving for work at the time, so this is a significant issue ad it is important that employers have robust policies in place.
The HSE have a Safe driver, Safe vehicle, Safe journey approach to managing work related road safety.
Considering safe driver involves such factors as:
- Are drivers competent and capable of doing their work safely? e.g. do you check driving licences? How do you check drivers have the right skills and expertise for their role? How do you make drivers aware of company policies?
- Are drivers properly trained? More than just do they hold the correct licence, do you provide induction training, regularly assess training needs and provide regular refresher training?
- Are drivers provided with clear road safety instructions? e.g. do they know the rules of the road e.g. including lower alcohol limits in Scotland? do they know how to operate their vehicle correctly? Do they know how to carry out routine safety checks?
- Are drivers sufficiently fit and healthy?
Considering safe vehicle includes such factors as:
- Are the vehicles used fit for the purpose they are used for?
- Are vehicles maintained in a safe condition? This includes private vehicles used for work purposes.
Considering safe vehicle involves factors such as:
- Planning journeys
- Allowing enough time for journeys, including such factors as rest breaks on longer journeys, time to load and unload vehicles etc
- Setting realistic work schedules
- Allowing for poor weather conditions
At PIB Risk management our team can help you to develop and implement suitable occupational Road Risk / Safe Driving policies. Please speak to your normal PIB Risk management contact or get in touch using firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
The latest data from the Department for Transport on drinking and driving can be found on the GOV.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras51-reported-drinking-and-driving