These were the findings of a recently compiled strategic review into the management of occupational road risk, which was undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) together with the Centre for Transport Studies at University College London (UCL).
The review, commissioned by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), aims to help employers prepare their staff for the risks on the road, but also to educate the public on the risks that at-work drivers pose to other road users.
Since 2006, almost 5,000 people have been killed in road accidents involving an at-work driver or rider while approximately 40,000 people have been seriously injured involved one working driver or rider.
The review also found that when compared with the number of deaths and injuries of actual at work driver, the deaths and injuries of other road users is disproportionately high. In the year 2012, 87 at-work drivers were killed, whereas 422 other road users were killed as a result of these collisions. Based on these figures, other road users seem to be far more at risk from at-work drivers than vice versa.
Accidents can be very costly to employers. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) research into workplace accidents has shown that, for every £1 paid from insurance policies, uninsured costs can range between £8 and £36. Further, road accidents can result in the reputation of the business being tarnished, and staff members may react negatively, which in turn may cause lower morale in the workplace.
Dr Shaun Helman, TRL’s Head of Transport Psychology, said: “Although some businesses are switched on to the issue, most of the time injuries sustained on the road are not afforded the same priority as injures sustained on work premises and sites. This needs to change”.
The review recommends that work-related road safety is given the same level of attention as general health and safety in the UK. While the review also suggests that further research into the management of occupational road risk is needed to improve upon current data as well as research into in-car monitoring technology and it’s effectiveness will have to be conducted, in the coming months, the RoSPA will be developing guidance aimed at helping UK employers better manage their occupational road risks.
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