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A recent guide published in Northern Ireland on driving at work highlights the need for road safety at all times, and it is a reminder of the responsibility that employers hold towards their employees whilst they are driving during work.
The report was published by the Department of Environment (Northern Ireland) and the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland and launched also by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. It highlights how many accidents occur on the roads involving people driving whilst at work and emphasises the importance of considering the safety of employees whilst driving.
The report serves as a good reminder that employers can potentially be liable for the actions of their employees whilst driving at work.
What’s more, depending upon the circumstances, there may also be scope for employers to be liable to their employees for personal injuries sustained in a road traffic accident whilst driving for an employer.
But way beyond this is simply the absolute importance that employers should take seriously the safety of those who are driving whilst in their employ. This is both for the safety of the employees themselves and also of the public as a whole.
The report itself emphasises the importance of assessing the risks. The first thing here is to ensure that the drivers themselves are able to do their work safely. Are they competent and sufficiently trained for the particular type of driving involved?
Then there’s the vehicle being driven by the employee. Is it fit for the purpose of the job in hand and is it in good working order and properly maintained? Finally, there’s the journey itself and the particular plan made for it. So when it’s a busy working day it’s crucial to leave enough time to get there without rushing and allowing not only for rest but also for the particular conditions on the day.
Sometimes the sorts of issues mentioned above can seem obvious when they’re actually said. But the problem is that when other things start getting in the way the obvious health and safety precautions might be at risk of getting forgotten or at least ignored.
Yet this is precisely the time when they’re most needed. So publications such as this serve as a good reminder to all drivers as to the dangers on our roads and the need to take care.
To read the report online please visit Employers Responsible for Employees Driving at Work.
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