Employers should consider in their health and safety risk assessments the hazards associated with employees driving vehicles as part of their job. This is often overlooked yet is a major factor in worker fatalities. Most employers have employees who drive as part of their employment – be it regularly or infrequently.
Under new legislation employers must report worker fatalities to the Health and Safety Authority.
The title’s statistic emerged from a recent report published by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. The data behind the report raises great concerns for employees.
Employers and health and safety advisors focus on the prevention of workplace accidents. However, an area that is commonly overlooked is work related road traffic accidents. A closer examination of the report highlights factors behind fatalities. The report details that 193 people were killed in work related road traffic accidents over a 4 year period. Some 14% of these collisions involved drivers who were on the wrong side of the road because of overtaking or losing control of their vehicles. Of the 193 fatalities, 29 were workers and 164 were bystanders.
Surprisingly, only 11 out of the 29 worker fatalities were reported to the Health and Safety Authority. An additional onus on employers to report such accidents came into effect on 1st November 2016 through The Reporting of Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations.
The report highlights the involvement of workers in fatal road related collisions and suggests that a high number of employees are associated with some degree of non-fatal work related collisions. The report highlights the need for employers to provide safe systems of work through complying with legislation, implementing road risk assessments, developing company policies and providing training to all employees who drive as part of their employment.