Winter is coming - have you reviewed your driving at work policy and risk assessment?

As temperatures drop and the weather deteriorates, it is clear that winter is on its way.

For anyone who drives as part of their work, this can have serious implications as they have to battle darker, shorter days, adverse weather conditions and low winter suns.  All of which heighten the risk of an accident occurring.

More than a quarter of all road traffic incidents may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time (Department for Transport figures).

Health and safety law applies to work activities on the road and therefore now is the time to ensure that your company has an adequate policy and risk assessment in place for considering driving while at work, and that it is communicated to employees.

Top 10 things to consider when driving in adverse weather conditions:

  1. What your average number of hours and distances driven? Are these possible in wintry conditions?
  2. Can driving be limited?
  3. Are these any alternative routes when driving in winter conditions?
  4. Are there appropriate systems in place to deal with adverse weather conditions?
  5. Have the company vehicles been checked; tyres, anti-freeze, windscreen wash etc.?
  6. Are journeys planned to allow extra time.
  7. Do employees know how to handle vehicles (either their own or company provided vehicles) in adverse weather conditions?
  8. Have employees read the vehicle manual and understand any specific advice contained within it regarding adverse weather driving?
  9. Are appropriate arrangements in place for emergencies (e.g. breakdown, collision or getting stranded)?
  10. Is an emergency kit including high visibility jacket, torch etc. available in each vehicle?

For further advice about driving at work please view HSE guidance note INDG382 or call the Health and Safety Advice Line on 029 2085 9269 (the advice line is a free service for SafeContractor members).

Post date: 10 Nov 2014

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