Don’t allow your business to drive into danger
Posted on 20 Jul, 2012
Every week, up to 250 people are seriously injured on Britain’s roads – while doing their job. As many as 20 people might be killed while driving for business each week.
Losing a key member of staff to a road accident can be a serious shock for a small business. It can also become a health and safety nightmare if the firm hasn’t taking reasonable action to protect its staff from harm.
If your firm has employees who drive on business, including yourself, it’s vital to be aware of the employer’s obligations. These can go way beyond checking that drivers have the correct licence and that vehicles possess an up-to-date MOT.
Know the health and safety requirements
Employers, or the self-employed, must assess all the risks associated with using vehicles for work. This includes motorbikes, mopeds and even bicycles.
Assessments involve looking for potential hazards, or things that could go wrong. It could be that your employee is relatively new to driving a large van, or may be required to drive for long distances in a day. They might be working to tight schedules, or regularly driving on unfamiliar roads.
Having identified the hazards, you should assess the likelihood of a problem occurring. This can be difficult, but you should know from your commercial experience what the most common problems are likely to be.
As the employer, you have a responsibility to ensure that your drivers are made aware of potential risks, and that steps are taken to ensure their safety. For example, if their vehicle was to breakdown, they should know who to alert, and also how to keep themselves safe while stranded at the roadside.
Make it easier by having consistent procedures
A haphazard approach to monitoring driver health and safety will lead to inconsistent results. While putting a process in place takes time and a little discipline, it could make the difference to how you’re assessed, should your approach to health and safety be inspected.
The Health and Safety Executive produces a wide range of resources to help firms put policies and procedures in place. Their guides are useful reminders of all the issues that you need to consider, and can be used as checklists of actions.
While risk assessments and regular checks can feel unnecessarily burdensome when you’re trying to do business, they can offer real protection to both your staff and your business.
For more information, read Driving at Work from the Health and Safety Executive.
Every month Touch Financial help businesses improve their cash flow with invoice finance. Request a quote to find out how much extra cash you could raise.Get a quote >