Around one third of all road collisions involve someone who is driving for work. And for those of us operating in the scaffolding sector, this is a highly relevant issue to consider. When it comes to injuries, the vast majority of casualties are not those driving for work – they are other, more vulnerable road users who have come into contact with a work vehicle. This is called work-related road risk.
Employers have a huge responsibility to ensure work-related driving is carried out safely. This is even more so in an industry like scaffolding where the vehicles are usually large goods vehicles, transporting loads that can do enormous damage if not secured correctly.
Insecure loads create risks for other road users, those clearing up the debris on the road, and those who have to unload it on site or in the depot. Drivers and unloading staff have been badly injured or even killed by items that have come loose during the journey and fallen out of the vehicle during unloading.
Health and safety at work legislation clearly extends to work-related driving, as vehicles used for business are legally considered to be an extension of the workplace. Failure to manage the risk effectively doesn’t just put drivers and other road users at risk. It can put directors and senior managers, reputations, and even the business itself at risk. Massive fines can be imposed, operator licences revoked and Directors can be disqualified.
Driving for Better Business is a government-backed Highways England campaign to increase awareness of work-related road risk among employers. It offers a range of tools, resources, articles and case studies which, are all free to access, and which are designed to help employers like you manage your drivers and vehicles more effectively.
More information is available at www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com