Health & Safety Legislation for Mobile Workers
Health and Safety in the workplace is of high concern to many employers, but never is it of more concern than to those with occupational drivers and businesses with mobile fleets.
Employers responsibility for their employees whilst out on the road is of no less importance to if they were working within the business premises. The Health and Safety Act has resulted in the Magistrates court been granted greater sentencing powers when dealing with breaches of health and safety practices. With the courts considering the seriousness of such offences through measuring how foreseeable the risk was, the ordinariness of the breach and the origins of the responsible party, in the search of evidence to question whether or not the business in question had purposely cut corners with regards to the safety of their staff.
There is undoubtedly always a risk in relation to driving and even with the strongest efforts, employers cannot be entirely in control of some eventualities, although there are certain ways to manage such risks in order to reduce incidents occurring.
Businesses must ensure they carry out frequent risk assessments and consult with their employees and health and safety representatives on the regulations required by the act. And whilst many companies view health and safety as a time consuming and hindering process, there are great benefits to ensuring practices are sufficient in relation to employee safety on the road.
Managing road safety risks allow companies enhanced control of costs, reduce wear and tear on vehicles, lower stress and increase morale, as well as reduce running costs through better driving practises. Regulations stress the need for businesses to address their policies and employer responsibility, organisational structure, systems in dealing with and monitoring road safety.
The important of driver safety in an occupational capacity is high on the agenda for businesses, with increasing pressure from new legislation brought in to protect drivers at work. Businesses need to ensure they address any outstanding health and safety, or they could face catastrophic fines, if the worst should indeed happen.