What are the Responsibilities of those Driving at Work?
The responsibility of driving at work rests with the employer and the employee who is responsible for driving at work. Both the employer and the employee must be well trained regarding UK health and safety at work legislation, which stipulates the responsibility of those driving at work. Safety is of the utmost importance within the workplace and this extends to driving at work. If, as an employer or as an employee, you want to be compliant with UK health and safety legislation whilst driving at work, training is essential.
What are the key pieces of UK legislation which establish the responsibilities of those driving at work?
1) The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
This Act places responsibility for driving at work upon the employer, and states that the employer has to ensure that they effectively maintain their duty of care for their employees and work associates. Moreover, the employer also must ensure the safety of other individuals who could be affected by the company's work - for example, pedestrians on the route. Employers are responsible for the safety of other road users when their employees are driving at work.
2) The Road Traffic Act 1988
It is the responsibility of the employee who is driving at work to be well educated on the UK Highway Code. This includes all of the driving penalties, and the road markings and signs. The employer must ensure that routes for driving at work comply with the Highway Code; for example, an employer must not ask their employees who are driving at work to exceed speed limits. This Act also states that the employer has the responsibility to check that the employee has all the relevant UK driving license materials.
3) The Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992
This set of regulations places responsibility upon both the employer and the employee to ensure that the routes that they are taking during their driving at work journey are safe, and are the most effective routes to take. For example, if the route requires an employee to drive into a deserted area late at night on their own, then it is not the safest route possible. The weather and how this might affect the journey should be taken into consideration, especially extreme conditions like snow and ice.
4) The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
This set of regulations states that the employer has the responsibility to conduct risk assessments for driving at work. These risk assessments must assess whether the employees are fit to drive, whether the car is fit for use on the road, and whether the road route is a sensible and safe journey to take. If there is danger found within the risk assessment, then it is the employer's responsibility to ensure that necessary measures are put into place to protect those employees who are driving at work.
If an employer or an employee does not comply with their responsibilities regarding driving at work, they will be subject to disciplinary procedures from the relevant police department in their area. Driving at work policy is taken very seriously, especially by the police. Thus, to be health and safety compliant whilst driving at work, training must be conducted for employers and employees.