Managing Occupational Road Risk – MORR

The human, legal and financial consequences of failing to manage occupational road risk (MORR) makes a compelling business argument for implementing an effective fleet driver training programme regardless of the size of your organization and your fleet of driver and vehicles.

Legal.

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires you to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all employees while at work. You also have a responsibility to ensure that others are not put at risk by your organisation’s work-related driving activities.

(See HSE – DfT guidance ‘Driving at Work’)

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, you have a responsibility to manage health and safety effectively. You need to carry out an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of your employees, while they are at work, and to other people who may be affected by their work activities. The Regulations require you to review your risk assessment periodically so that it remains appropriate. They apply to all organisations, without exception.

Since 2004 police road accident investigators are specifically instructed to consider corporate liability.

“It is a requirement that Police ‘investigate all incidents as unlawful killing until the contrary is proved’. Investigations into how and, more importantly, why collisions occur are frequently identifying failures in company policies and practices. Developments in Road Policing are increasingly likely to make such failures transparent to the courts.”

Chief Inspector Ian Brooks, Metropolitan Police Service.

A protocol now exists between the 3 enforcement  agencies:-

  • The Police.
  • The Crown Prosecution Service.
  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

This protocol ensures that prosecution will take place when it is necessary.

The HUMAN, LEGAL and FINANCIAL consequences of failing to manage occupational road risk makes a compelling argument for implementing an effective fleet driver training programme regardless of the size of your organisation and your fleet.

Financial.

The business case for managing occupational road risk is clear: accidents are costly, and repairs and insurance costs are just the tip of the iceberg. The wider implications of accidents include days lost to injury; negative publicity and damage to your reputation; downtime caused by investigations and paperwork; reduced productivity due to stress and low morale and the time lost with vehicles off the road.

The true costs of road accidents to organisations are nearly always significantly higher than the resulting insurance claims. HSE research into workplace accidents generally (The Costs of Accidents – HSG96) suggests that, for every £1 recovered through insurance, between £8 and £36 may be lost via uninsured costs.

Many costs (such as lost time in wages and salaries; lost orders and output; administrative costs, legal fees; and costs due to other kinds of business interruption) are not be recoverable. Many, if not most, of these costs will not be recovered from insurance claims, and therefore, will directly reduce the organisation’s profit.

Hidden Costs.

  • Replacement vehicle/driver.
  • Stock Casualty.
  • Re-delivery of goods.
  • Increased insurance cost.
  • Lost business.
  • Image/reputation.
  • Administration.
  • Fines.

The way your staff drives on the road is a direct reflection of the company’s image, and highly visible to members of the public, many of whom may be customers of the company.

When you consider these factors, can you afford not to manage occupational road risk?

Costs Benefits
• Management time
• Management training
• Risk assessment
• Driver assessment
• Driver training
• Accident/incident investigation
• Data collection/analysis
• Control measures
• Reduced accident losses
• Less lost staff time
• Improved staff morale
• Better public image
• Lower insurance premiums
• Improved ‘off the job’ road safety
• Improved safety culture
• More effective vehicle use

The business case for “Driver Training” is clear, crashes are costly, fuel and vehicles are costly. A driver risk management programme that is effectively managed and delivered will not only satisfy your companies  “Duty of Care” but also dramatically reduce these costs.