RoSPA wages war on road safety

A proactive risk management approach needs to be adopted to reduce accidents

Car and van drivers who cover 25,000 miles a year as part of their job are
at virtually the same risk of being killed at work as coal miners, according to
the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Roger Bibbings, occupational safety adviser for RoSPA, gave details to the
conference on the campaign that the society has been waging for the past six
years. This urges organisations to adopt a proactive risk management approach
to reducing the risks connected with at-work vehicle use. RoSPA has developed
guidance on managing road risk designed to help employers to develop a
"risk management system" approach covering policy, organisation,
planning and implementation, monitoring and periodic review as well as an
audit.

The society believes that of a total of 3,400 road accident fatalities every
year, between 800 and 1,000 occur in accidents involving vehicles driven for
work purposes. The HSE’s survey of self-reported work-related injury shows some
77,000 injuries to employees every year as a result of at-work road accidents.

RoSPA recommends that organisations should focus on the policies, people and
procedures they need to have in place for managing occupational road risk
rather than concentrating on specific control measures. Risk assessment should
be used to help determine an appropriate mix of risk control measures including
getting risks down at source, for example, by:

– Exploring safer alternatives to travel by road

– Specifying safest routes, setting standards for safe schedules, journey
times and distance limits

– Choosing vehicles with additional safety features

– Ensuring safe maintenance

– Enabling drivers to cope with the risks that remain by having suitable
driver selection, assessment and driver development arrangements in place.

"Managing risk on the road, like managing any kind of work-related
risk, cannot be achieved by one-off interventions," Bibbings concluded.

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