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Reducing work-related road traffic accidents

by Guest injury law blogger on December 7, 2012

Guest post about the IOSH’s recent calls for the Government to help reduce deaths and injuries on the road when driving to work.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has called on the Government to act to help reduce the number of people killed or injured while driving for work.

Work-related road traffic accidents

Work-related road traffic accidents (RTAs) are a serious problem. The latest provisional figures from the Department of Transport show that in the 12 months ending June 2012, 24,870 people are estimated to have been killed or seriously injured on the roads in the UK.

In 2010 the Government estimated that 24% of serious injuries, and 30% of road deaths could be linked to work-related road traffic accidents.

Figures from IOSH itself show that:

  • Around a third of all RTAs in Britain are thought to involve someone at work; and
  • According to the Labour Force Survey, there are an estimated 70,000 – 100,000 non-fatal work-related RTA injuries each year. Up to 40,000 of these cause the injured employee to be off work for more than three days.

Sadly, as work-related RTAs are not currently reportable under the national accident reporting system RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995),  IOSH says that it is not possible to be more precise with these figures.

RIDDOR

IOSH would therefore like to see work-related road traffic accidents included in RIDDOR.

It believes that this would lead to a reduction in the number of such accidents.

Consultation on simplifying RIDDOR

The professional body has been calling for the inclusion of work-related RTAs as a reporting requirement under RIDDOR since 2001, and reiterated the call recently in its response to the Health & Safety Executive consultation over proposed changes to RIDDOR.

The consultation sought views over proposals to simplify and clarify how businesses comply with the requirements under RIDDOR.

It also sought to implement changes recommended in the 2010 Government Report, ‘Common Sense, Common Safety’, by exploring whether RIDDOR was the best way to obtain accurate information on the scale of workplace accidents across the country.

Occupational road risks

Speaking at the start of November’s Road Safety Week, Richard Jones, head of policy and public affairs at IOSH, again highlighted the issue.

“Employers have clear duties under health and safety legislation in this country to manage work-related health and safety risks, which will include their occupational road risks,” he explained. “Employers who do not ensure employees can drive safely for work are as much at fault as those who don’t ensure employees can use workplace machinery safely.”

“It’s vital employers manage their occupational road risks just as they would any other health and safety risks, through good planning and by implementing sensible, proportionate precautions. As well as preventing enormous human suffering, it also makes good business sense,” he said.

Miller Samuel Solicitors are road traffic injury lawyers in Glasgow. Contact them for specialist legal advice.

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