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.