Firms Criticised Over Driving “Risks”

Safety experts have claimed that small businesses are putting their employees at risk by failing to appreciate the risks involved in driving for work purposes.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) have argued that health and safety legislation for driving has yet to have an impact on businesses outside of the transport sector whose employees can be required to travel hundreds of miles per week for meeting and other work related duties.

ROSPA have pointed out that research has shown that people are more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident whilst driving for work than be involved in an accident during any other work place activity.

The organisation have claimed that whilst many big companies and haulage firms have strict policies in place to assess these risks and mitigate against them, many smaller firms still regarded health and safety as an issue confined to work premises.

A spokesperson for ROSPA, said: “Anecdotally, it’s clear that a lot of smaller business are not aware they have that responsibility towards their staff.

“They’re not aware of the dangers or aware they should be risk-assessing the things drivers are doing. In this difficult economic climate, small businesses struggle anyway, so it can be difficult to get them to take on the added burden that comes with carrying out these duties.”

A number of UK studies have found that between a quarter and a third of all road accidents involve people driving for work purposes; with a European study suggesting that when the results include commuters, the figures can increase to three in five.