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  • International Workplace
  • 13 March 2003
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Do You Have a Policy on Driving at Work?

New guidance has been published by the Workplacelaw Network to help employers implement a driving-at-work policy and meet their legal obligations. At-work driving has emerged as a major area of risk for UK employers, since the HSE's recent decision to enforce health and safety laws much more rigorously to work-related driving.

The Draft Driving at Work Policy and Management Guide - published in association with leading law firm Kennedys - consists of a draft policy document, which employers can customise for their own needs, and comprehensive management guidance to help employers develop and enforce their own driving-at-work policy. The policy is written by Linda Faux and Geoff Troup, independent specialists in workplace management.

Employers are required under health and safety law to assess and control areas of risk. At-work driving is being seen as an area of increasing risk for UK employers:

- In December 2001, the HSE's work-related road safety taskforce recommended that existing health and safety laws should be enforced much more thoroughly to work-related driving.
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 require that equipment provided for work purposes must be properly maintained and suitable for the intended use, and adequate training and health and safety information must be provided to the user.
- The police are being increasingly encouraged to make enquiries of the employer and consider prosecution.
- In December 2002, a company owner was fined £2,500 for breaches of health and safety regulations after a driver who was suffering from exhaustion was killed in an accident.

Daniel McShee of Kennedys solicitors, who reviewed the policy and guidance, commented:

"Although to date the HSE has not been keen on enforcing health and safety law for driving matters, there appears to be some movement for change in this respect. Employers should be aware of the potential for prosecution if they do not comply with their legal obligations and do not have proper policies and guidance for employees in place to cover driving at work."

Topics covered in the template policy include: personnel responsibilities; risk assessments and safety control measures; driver training/assessment and journey planning guidance; vehicle selection, inspection, testing and maintenance; private/hired vehicles; accidents and emergencies; breakins/theft; and breakdowns.

The template policy comes with a comprehensive 57-page Management Guide with instructions on customising the policy and implementing the policy in the workplace, plus: sample driver and driving task risk assessment forms; driver Guidelines on safe driving, journey planning and vehicle inspection/maintenance; vehicle inspection checklist; driver/management guidelines on accidents and other emergencies; and sample vehicle accident/theft report forms.

The Draft Driving at Work Policy and Management Guide, Version 1.0 (£74.99, ISBN 1-900648-29-6) is available as an electronic download from the Workplacelaw Network website - www.workplacelaw.net/eshop - or by calling 0870 777 8881. 10% discount available to members of the Workplacelaw Network, BIFM, RICS, IFMA or RIBA. Please quote ref. 1428 when ordering.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The Workplacelaw Network supplies legal support and information to over 25,000 UK managers and employers, including property, HR and health and safety managers. See www.workplacelaw.net for more information. Press contact: Sam Colella, 0870 777 8881, sam.colella@workplacelaw.net

2. Linda Faux, currently a Facilities Manager for Kimberly-Clark Limited has been within the facilities management industry for 15 years and worked as a Facilities Manager for various blue-chip organisations, including Duracell Batteries, part of the Gillette Group and Colgate-Palmolive (UK) Ltd. She is an associate of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management, a member of the British Institute of Facilities Management and is a Consulting Editor to the Facilities Management Legal Update journal.

3. Geoff Troup has been working in facilities management for the past 10 years, gaining a BSc Hons. and Masters Degree in Facilities Management. He has worked for BUPA, Virgin, and as Head of Facilities and Property for Reed Business Information, part of the Reed Elsevier conglomerate employing more than 45,000 staff worldwide. In 2002 he won the British Institute of Facilities Management Best Facilities Manager in Small Buildings Award. At present Geoff is Regional Director working for OCS, seconded to Monteray, looking after the BT facilities contract for the South of England. Geoff is a Consulting Editor to the Facilities Management Legal Update journal.

4. Kennedys Solicitors is one of the leading dispute resolution firms in the City of London. The firm is a major player in the insurance/reinsurance dispute resolution field and also has a great depth of expertise in areas such as health and safety law, employment law, clinical negligence, construction, insolvency and company and commercial law. Press Contact: Wendy Notowicz, 020 7638 3688, w.notowicz@kennedys-law.com.