Driving for Work and Safety

14 July, 2017

Employer safety responsibilities apply to all work activities, including those carried out away from the usual office, depot, or workplace.

In situations where your employees or contractors are required to drive in the course of carrying out their work you are required to manage the risks.

To do this you will need to identify and control the risks associated with work-related vehicle travel as part of your safety management process.

In particular, there are three critical areas which employers should ensure are adequately addressed:

People

People who drive in the course of their work are:

  • Licensed for the kind of vehicle they are required to drive
  • Competent to drive to the conditions which they will be exposed to
  • Fit to drive and aware of conditions (medical and otherwise) which may render them unfit to drive
  • Aware of your procedure for managing concerns about driving tasks
  • Trained in tasks associated with driving (e.g. lifting items out of the vehicle) and the use of specific vehicles and equipment
  • Encouraged to report any problems with vehicles, equipment, journeys and related issues

Equipment

Ensuring vehicles, trolleys, tool boxes, emergency kits and other equipment are:

  • Fit for purpose and in good condition
  • Assessed and serviced regularly to ensure they remain suitable
  • The subject of risk assessments if the tasks for which they are used carry a risk of injury

Safe driving

Policies, procedures and instructions must reflect:

  • Journey planning that considers the specific risks associated with the trip and provides ways to minimise these risks
  • Management of fatigue
  • Management of on the road emergencies
  • Communication mechanisms for people working and travelling alone

With regard to Fatigue Management here are some interesting facts you may not know:

  • The reaction time of a driver who has been awake for 17 – 19 hours is similar to that of a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05.
  • Not sleeping for 20-25 hours will reduce a driver's reaction time to the equivalent reaction time of someone with a BAC of 0.10.
  • Signs of fatigue include wandering thoughts, missing a gear or road sign, braking late, yawning, blinking more than usual and eyes closing for a moment or going out of focus.

Getting 8 hours of sleep a night will prevent fatigue. If you feel fatigued while driving, stop immediately. Swap drivers or take a break.

For further information about driver, fleet and general workplace safety management contact CCI’s Safety and Risk Services today on 08 9365 7415 or osh@cciwa.com.

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