Updated guidance on work-related road risk (WRRR) for employers and workers has been published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Department for Transport (DfT) in the context of the expansion of the gig economy and the increasing use of personal vehicles for work purposes: the “grey fleet”.
These changes have created some confusion over where responsibility for legal compliance lies, the regulator believes.
HM Inspector for HSE’s Transport and Public Services Unit, Nicola Jaynes, explained: “The Health and Safety at Work Act sets out the legal duties of employers and those engaged to work for them, their responsibilities to manage WRRR are nothing new. However, the landscape is changing and we wanted to ensure guidance reflects these changes and also remains relevant for years to come.”
Prosecutions could lead to significant fines and custodial sentences, as well as driving bans and/or operator licences being revoked.
In 2020, a company found guilty of failing to effectively manage fatigue for their employees driving for work, was fined £450,000 and ordered to pay £30,000 costs after two men lost their lives in a motorway collision.
The revised guidance, which can be found on the HSE website, reminds employers that they have a legal responsibility for their employees’ health and safety which includes ensuring that they do not drive an excessive number of hours.
Employers should also be checking that vehicles are properly maintained, even if they belong to the employee. The regulations apply to all workers including those using two-wheeled vehicles, such as motorcycles, scooters and ebikes.
“The shocking number of injuries and fatalities associated with driving for work demonstrates that more needs to be done to manage WRRR,” Ms Jaynes concluded. “This updated guidance will give employers the guidance they need to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their drivers and riders.”
Last reviewed 13 September 2021