"Some employers believe, incorrectly, that provided they comply with certain road traffic law requirements, eg company vehicles have a valid MOT certificate, and that drivers hold a valid licence, this is enough to ensure the safety of their employees, and others, when they are on the road. However, health and safety law applies to on-the-road work activities as to all work activities, and the risks should be effectively managed within a health and safety management system." See HSE Publication Driving at Work

Several pieces of legislation cover driving at work, these include:

Health & Safety at Work Act 1974

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that employers must 'carry out an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees'. This expressly includes driving as part of work. Employers also have a responsibility to make sure that members of the public are not put at risk by work related driving activities.

Included in this legislation is:

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

These regulations refer to the need to carry out risk assessments regarding the health and safety of employees whilst at work and the general public who could be affect by your employees. Driving on work business in any vehicle is affected by this legislation as the vehicle is regarded as a place of work. It is therefore essential to assess every employee who is required to drive on company business at any time.

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 puts more responsibility onto the management of companies and organisations. In the case of a fatality caused in part by serious failures in health and safety management, criminal prosecutions can now be brought against the corporate body.

Penalties include custodial sentences, unlimited fines, remedial orders and even publicity orders.

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

These regulations are designed to ensure that work equipment (vehicles) is suitable for its intended use, safe, inspected and properly maintained. It also requires that the employees are properly trained to use the equipment. These regulations cover vehicles and employees required to drive as part of their job.

Road Traffic Acts (numerous pieces of legislation) / Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986

These laws cover a multitude of road traffic offences which may be committed, for example, speeding, failing to conform to traffic lights, using a mobile phone whilst driving etc., together with the general maintenance of vehicles.

Company owners, directors, managers and supervisors may commit offences under the general headings of 'Use, cause or permit' offences committed by company drivers.

All this means that employers now have a "duty of care" regarding people driving as part of their job. Just because a delivery driver happens to be hundreds of miles away, does not mean the company can forget about him or the risk he may be posing to other people.

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