Managing occupational road risk

Managing occupational road risk

Background

To enable every Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) to function as a Service, some of its employees need to drive or be on the road in connection with their work.

In the United Kingdom, it has been estimated that up to a third of all road traffic accidents involve people who are at work at the time, accounting for over 20 fatalities and 250 serious injuries every week.  The Department for Transport (DFT) state approximately 473,000 unlicensed drivers drive on UK roads, with 17,200 of these having been banned via accumulation of points.  These drivers often continue to drive due to pressure of work, or risk of losing their job.

To minimise the risks to each FRS Board’s employees and other road users, each individual service should have in place a Managing Occupational Road Risk (MORR) Policy.

Statement of policy

Each FRS is committed to ensuring, as far as is possible, the health, safety and welfare of their employees and those affected by the activity of each FRS.  Each FRS recognises and seeks to reduce the risks to their employees when driving, or on the road, in connection with their work. FRSs also recognise the need to eliminate the risks other road users may be exposed to during these instances.

It is important that every FRS employee recognises, and play their part in eliminating and reducing these risks, and is therefore required to comply with the Policy and any supporting documents.

Scope

The Policy will help each FRS to meet its moral and legal duty to protect its employees who may be on the road as part of their work, which, for the majority of occasions, will involve work-related driving.  The definition of work related driving is: 'any driving activities carried out by employees in the course of their employment'.  The Policy applies whether the vehicles are used for work-related driving are owned by each FRS Board, by its employees or any other party.

The Policy will also help each FRS to control the very significant business losses that can arise from work-related road accidents.  These losses include direct accident costs, lost employees’ time, higher insurance premiums and poor public image.

The Policy shall form an integral part of, and must be read in conjunction with, individual FRS Health and Safety Policy and Management System.  This means, above all, ensuring that occupational road risk is managed in exactly the same way as any other health and safety at work problem and following established risk management principles.

The Policy and the occupational road safety performance of each FRS should be monitored and reviewed by the Transport Manager in conjunction with the Health and Safety Department.  The results of any monitoring or review shall be fed back to Directorates and Areas to provide a basis for continual improvement.

The Policy and any related guidance and procedures will provide each FRS with a basis to provide and develop a systematic approach to MORR.  The MORR policy will continue to build on the arrangements in place within FRSs to ensure that Health and Safety at Work is maintained.

Policy aims

The Policy aims to:

  • Increase employees’ awareness of safety issues associated with working on the road, particularly work-related driving.
  • Achieve compliance with the legal duties placed on the relevant FRS.
  • Ensure that robust systems are in place regarding the governance, scrutiny and audit of all employee and stakeholder driving licenses.
  • Encourage a pro-active and robust approach to managing all Grey Fleet usage to ensure organisational awareness of responsibility, and compliance with legislation.
  • Ensure that risk in relation to work-related driving is assessed in a systematic and ongoing way and that safe systems and methods of work are put in place to eliminate or reduce the risk.
  • Ensure that appropriate training, as deemed by Training Department, is available to employees to enable them to recognise and manage the risk.
  • Ensure that practical advice on MORR and the prevention of accidents is provided to employees.
  • Ensure that appropriate support is available to employees involved in work- related driving accidents.
  • Encourage full reporting and recording of all accidents and near misses arising in the course of work-related driving.
  • Reduce the number of accidents and injuries to employees resulting from work-related driving.
  • Reducing the cost of accidental damage.
  • Improving the safety and usability of vehicles used by each FRS personnel in the course of their duties.
Legislation
  • Road Traffic Regulations Act 1988
  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • Working Time Regulations 1998
  • Road Vehicle (Construction and Use) (Amendments) (No 4) Regulations 2003
  • Regulation (EEC) 3821/85 Tachographs
  • Regulation (EC) 2135/98 Tachographs

All subject to amendments and additions.