Policy and Procedures
The most effective way to manage occupational road risk and reduce the risk of at-work road crashes and casualties is to reduce the amount of driving that staff do, and especially to reduce:
- Driving during the highest risk periods for sleep-related crashes (2-6am, and 2-4pm)
- Driving while using in-car devices that are distracting (e.g. mobile phones)
- Driving while under time pressure (and thus may lead to increased speed)
- Driving in specific risky situations related to particular sectors (avoiding interactions between large goods and construction vehicles and cyclists at junctions)
However, it is very difficult, if not impossible, for most organisations to reduce their driving to zero, therefore, road journeys that must take place need to be risk assessed and managed. This assessment will inform the organisation's MORR and driving for work policies.
Broadly speaking, an MORR risk assessment should review the risk enhancing features of:
- The Journey
- The Driver
- The Vehicle
A summary of the main issues to consider is below and more detailed advice on managing these issues can be found in the Guidance and Resources section.
The aim should be to avoid travelling by road as much as possible, and to reduce the risks related to the journey when there is no alternative to travelling by road.
- Consider whether it is necessary to travel by road, or whether remote communications, or rail or air travel, be used instead.
For road journeys that cannot be avoided:
- Share vehicles and driving to minimise the number of journeys.
- Schedule visits and deliveries so that mileage is kept as low as possible.
- Plan journeys and routes to minimise the need to drive during the riskiest periods, such as the early hours of the morning.
- Plan journeys and routes to use the highest quality roads, such as motorways and dual carriageways where possible.
- Plan schedules so drivers do not feel pressured into speeding or driving for too long, and include time for rest breaks.
- Make sure that routes and SatNavs are regularly updated.
The aim should be to ensure that all drivers are licensed and trained to drive the vehicle they are using, and are fit to drive, and are free from distractions and time pressures while driving.
- Ensure every driver is licensed and insured for the vehicle they are driving.
- Regularly assess drivers to identify their driving tasks, habits and training needs.
- Provide any driver training and education identified in their assessments, prioritised according to the highest risks.
- Consider age and driving experience, and remember that young drivers are often at greater risk because they have not yet gained as much driving experience as other drivers, especially in vans, and may not feel able to raise any concerns they have.
- Ensure that drivers are fit to drive, and consider issues ranging from long term illness to short term temporary impairments, such as stress, fatigue and colds/flu.
- Ensure drivers do not drive when they have been drinking alcohol or are affected by drugs or medicines.
- Ensure drivers are not distracted by drivers, especially by using a mobile phone, and that their line managers understand that drivers should not use a mobile phone while driving.
- Monitor drivers to assess whether their level of risk is changing, whether they are following the organisation's MORR policy and procedures and to identify any issues that need to be addressed.
The aim should be that every vehicle used by the organisation is road legal, roadworthy and fit for purpose.
- Ensure your vehicle selection policy includes criteria such as primary safety features such as ABS, ESC, crash protection performance.
- Implement regular checks of vehicle documents, such as servicing, MOT (when applicable), insurance cover for business use, VED.
- Implement a system to ensure vehicles are MOT'd when required and serviced according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
- Ensure drivers know how to conduct regular vehicle safety checks and do so regularly.
- Ensure drivers are provided with vehicle familiarisation sessions as required, and they understand how to use in-vehicle equipment, such as SatNAvs, and technologies such as ESC, brake assist, cruise control, etc that is fitted to their vehicle.
- Ensure similar rules apply to staff who use their own vehicles for work purposes (grey fleet)
Employers must consult their staff on health and safety, directly or through their representatives. Businesses with good staff consultation and workforce involvement manage health and safety better, and tend to have better productivity and higher levels of workforce motivation.
Two sets of regulations set out employers' duty to consult their workforce about health and safety:
- The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977
- The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996
These regulations are designed to enable employers and staff to work together to:
- Develop, maintain and promote measures that ensure health and safety at work; and
- Check the effectiveness of such measures.
The HSE provide advice on Consulting and involving your workers, and which regulation applies in different situations, depending on whether staff belong to a trade union.
One of the goals of the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) strategy is to promote worker involvement where employers and employees and their representatives work collaboratively to improve health and safety in workplaces.
Developing effective workforce involvement in health and safety:
- Acknowledges citizens' rights at work
- Taps into their knowledge
- Reveals workers' hidden concerns
- Builds understanding and consensus
- Enables learning from corporate memories
- Promotes problem solving
- Secures buy-in to tough decisions
- Builds a stronger health and safety culture.
Consultation and worker involvement go hand in hand. 'Consultation' with representatives might cover, for example, safety policy, management organisation, risk assessments, standards, targets, auditing and organisational change. 'Worker Involvement' might include team based learning and problem solving, tool box talks, training (initial and skills), point-of-work risk assessments, reporting culture, safety committee meetings, behavioural safety initiatives, suggestion schemes or trials and pilots.
An MORR policy will only be effective if it is implemented in practice. Therefore, it is essential to monitor that the policies and procedures are being put into practice by drivers and managers. There are various options for monitoring drivers, including:
- Driver licence checks
- Assessment and Training records
- Accident and motoring offence reporting
- Health surveillance
- Vehicle checks
- Staff performance appraisals
- Staff feedback schemes
- Crash, offences and near miss reporting system
- Progress towards any targets that have been set
Setting targets is a good way of focussing attention and resources on particular issues, of motivating staff and managers, and of measuring progress in improving the organisation's MORR performance. Target can be set for many things, including:
- Crash rates
- Vehicle damage rates
- Mileage reductions
- Driver assessments and training
Investigations into crashes, offences and near misses are also an essential part of an MORR policy. They provide an opportunity to establish both the immediate and root causes of what happened, and so to identify the measures that will reduce the risk of repeat occurrences.
Staff should be required to report crashes (including damage only), driving offences, and ideally, near misses. Managers responsible for crash investigation should be properly trained to conduct and investigations, and analyse and interpret the findings. Telematics are a useful way of providing objective and accurate data about what a vehicle was doing immediately before and during a crash or incident.
Line managers should understand their responsibilities to ensure that reporting procedures are followed, and be properly trained if they are part of the investigation process (for example, if they interview a driver involved in a minor incident or a near miss, or who has gained penalty points on their licence.
It is crucial that lessons are learned from the results of monitoring and investigations, and fed back into the organisation's MORR policy and procedures. Key points should also be communicated to managers and staff.
Finally, it is important to review the organisation's MORR performance to assess how well it is working, identify any gaps or improvements, measures whether targets are being achieved and to enable the organisation to report its progress and achievements.
For information of measuring health and safety performance, view the HSE's "A Guide to Measuring Health and Safety Performance".
Managing work related road safety is not simply a matter of having formal 'systems' in place to achieve continuous improvement. These need to be underpinned by a 'health and safety culture – a shared view within all parts of the organisation of the seriousness of health and safety and the need to have effective policies, procedures and control measures to tackle them. This should include a 'corporate road safety culture'.
It is important that work related road safety becomes a common talking point and is taken seriously by every employee.
The Department for Transport's "Safety Culture and Work-Related Road Accidents" provides useful information.