The Health and Safety Authority (HSA ) accident data shows that during 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. One in four fatal road collisions involve a worker. 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 attention on making sure that employees engage in safe driving for work from now until the end of August.
The good weather brings more people out onto the roads and the driving landscape changes during the summer months. There are more children, cyclists, pedestrians, tourists, agricultural vehicles, and vulnerable road users around. 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 and stress-free.
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.
Vehicles should be checked daily. 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.
Check that vehicle maintenance is up to date. Only authorised passengers should travel in vehicles driven for work. Employers should have a clear policy and rules on carrying passengers for work and make sure that employees follow the rules.
Employees need to be reminded to follow the rules of the road when parking. There should be no parking on double yellow lines, on yellow junction boxes, or, 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.
The Health and Safety Authority, Road Safety Authority, and An Garda Síochána have developed free resources to help people perform checks. They can be accessed at www.hsa.ie