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Call for employers to help reduce work-related road deaths

A health and safety body has urged employers to do more to reduce the worrying number of work-related road traffic accidents (RTA).

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) made the call after research it commissioned with TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) revealed that many companies are spending money on road safety strategies, with little confirmation on whether they actually produce results.

Currently, one in three company drivers has an accident each year, and it’s estimated that as many as a third of UK RTAs are work-related. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), road incidents overall are expected to rise from the ninth highest cause of death (2004) to the fifth by 2030. IOSH and TRL believe this should prompt significant change in the way work-related road accidents are tackled by businesses and the Government.

Some of the reasons why work-related RTAs happen are distraction, fatigue and time pressure, for example where employees are required to meet deadlines for meetings and appointments, or have to drive long distances in a day.

TRL principal road safety researcher Shaun Helman said:

“We think that some companies are achieving results, but we want to encourage businesses across the UK to take a long, hard evaluative look at whether what they’re doing is simply ticking boxes, or actually yielding results.  We need well controlled evaluation to show us what works, by how much, and why.”

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