Road assessment applies the standard risk assessment approach to the many hazards associated with driving for work, including journey length, allowing enough time for the journey, arrangements to take a break, driving posture, route choice and thinking of alternatives to driving.
Step 1: Audit vehicle usage, accidents and their cost
Employers should audit the following information:
- the number of vans, lorries, and essential or casual car users;
- journeys – the current mileage by types of vehicle and the length of journeys;
- the date, time and place of accidents, and the severity of injuries sustained; and
- the annual cost of insurance, repairs and absences from work following road accidents.
Step 2: Carry out a risk assessment
In occupational safety, a hazard is something that has the potential to cause harm. Risk is the likelihood that harm will arise from a hazard. RoSPA recommends using a scoring system to highlight issues of highest concern.
Step 3: Introduce safety and control measures
Many of these ideas are also sound advice for the individual driver:
- Eliminate unnecessary journeys and consider alternative means of communication.
- Change the mode of transport, e.g. take the train, then a bus or taxi.
- Avoid driving in adverse conditions, e.g. at night, or in poor weather.
- Reduce distances – set maximum driving distances (e.g. per day, per week or per year).
- Control drivers’ hours. Set upper limits for driving hours each day, week and month.
- Specify the safest routes.
- Specify safer vehicles.
- Set driver capability standards, e.g. by requiring drivers to pass an advanced driving test paid for by the employer.
- Require regular eyesight tests. The legal visual standard for a car or motorbike driver is to be able to read a number plate at 20.5 metres, with glasses if worn.
- Set clear policies on use of alcohol and other substances.
- Prohibit the use of mobile phones, including hands-free sets, while on the move.