The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) accident data shows that over the past few years, July has been the worst month for vehicle related accidents at work.
July also had the highest number of fatal road collisions in 2016, according to the RSA. 1 in 4 fatal road collisions involve a worker [Coroner data from 2008 to 2011 research study].
So, with summer upon us, and driving being a major part of many workers’ day to day activities, now is a good time to focus your attention and efforts on making sure that employees engage in safe driving for work from now until the end of August.
The good weather brings many more people out onto the roads and the driving landscape changes greatly over the summer months. There are more children, cyclists, pedestrians, tourists, agricultural vehicles and vulnerable road users about.
So, those who drive for work need to be extra mindful of these seasonal changes and modify their driving and work practices accordingly.
By applying some simple guidelines before travelling, en-route, and at premises and public areas driving for work in summer should be safe, stress-free and result in employees returning home safe at the end of their working day.
Employers need to make sure that:
Vehicles used for work are roadworthy before undertaking any work related journey: even the slightest doubt about vehicle condition and performance, needs checking. Refer to www.drivingforwork.ie for detailed information.
Vehicle daily checks are done. They are a simple way to spot potentially dangerous issues or defects before vehicles are used. Employers and self-employed people should have a system of routine checks in place to ensure that vehicles are in good working order, safe and fit for purpose at the start of each working day or work shift.
The Health and Safety Authority, Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána have developed FREE resources to help you perform checks. They include vehicle check posters and check sheets and videos. They can be accessed at:
Vehicle maintenance is up to date.
Only authorised passengers travel in vehicles driven for work. Vehicles and Workplaces are dangerous places for children. Employers should have a clear policy and rules on carrying passengers for work and make sure that employees follow the rules.
Employees park safely. Employees need to be reminded to follow the rules of the road when parking. No parking on double yellow lines, yellow junction boxes and most importantly on footpaths.
Enjoy the good weather, and make sure employees are instructed and informed on what to do to make sure they keep safe when driving for work over the summer months.