Gearing up for winter driving at work

weather-disruptionThe Automobile Association (AA) has reminded employers of the importance of undertaking a comprehensive health and safety assessment to minimise occupational road risks, including awareness of weather-related risks, such as the importance of a clear, frost-free windscreen.

In turn, the AA’s website reminds employers that after deep sea fishing and coal mining, driving 25,000 miles a year on business is the most life-threatening activity most people undertake — more dangerous than working in the construction sector.

With a third of road deaths and serious injuries each year involve people driving for work, four times as many people are killed while driving for work than any other industrial accident.

Despite this, the AA says only a few organisations have undertaken a comprehensive health and safety assessment to minimise occupational road risk, even though health and safety legislation requires it.

Under the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974, employers have a statutory duty to carry out an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees and that includes any driving activity on the road.

As the cold weather sets in, the AA has highlighted the importance of windscreen awareness, noting that drivers who set off looking through a snow slit or peering through smears of road dirt on their windscreens contributed to 22 fatal or serious injury accidents last year.

Edmund King, AA President, said, “Your car windscreen is not an optional extra yet some drivers seem to treat it like one. Particularly in winter our patrols report numerous cases of drivers peering through frosted, frozen or filthy windscreens.”

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