Driver health and your company

While a comprehensive occupational road risk policy and procedures (which include F2D factors) is a necessary starting point, it is also essential than employers consider how the organisation’s specific journeys, specific vehicles and specific drivers might affect F2D

Employers must therefore carry out risk assessments taking these specific factors into account.

Examples to demonstrate are listed below:

Specific Journeys:

  • Driving a large vehicle (e.g. refuse collection vehicle) in high risk pedestrian areas (e.g. areas around and entry into schools) can be very stressful (children may not recognise danger). Planning collections to avoid school start and finish times could help to minimise risk and reduce any pressure or stress drivers may feel.
  • Driving at certain times (e.g. between 2am and 6am) can increase risk of driver fatigue. One of the most important things employers must do is ensure that their drivers are not at risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Schedules should therefore seek to reduce night driving.

Specific Vehicles:

  • Reversing/manoeuvring vehicles in certain high risk locations can be extremely difficult and stressful. (E.g. narrow lanes, locations with restricted access/parked cars or other obstructions). Using the correct type and size of vehicles with incorporated essential safety features e.g. CCTV, reversing alarms/sensors can help to minimise risk and reduce potential driver stress
  • Poor vehicle ergonomics could cause, or exacerbate health problems (e.g. back pain/ musculoskeletal disorders). Assessing the design of vehicles and equipment at the procurement stage would help to minimise risk.

Yes, if you are an employer or self-employed. It is a legal requirement for every employer and self-employed person to make an assessment of the health and safety risks arising out of their work. The purpose of the assessment is to identify what needs to be done to control health and safety risks. Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

You do not necessarily need specific training or qualifications to carry out a risk assessment. 

As an employer, however, you must appoint someone competent to help you meet your health and safety duties. A competent person is someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety.

 

You could appoint one or a combination of:

  • yourself
  • one or more of your workers
  • someone from outside your business

 

You may need extra help or advice if you do not have sufficient experience or knowledge in-house. You may also need extra help if the risks are complex:

Get competent advice

The Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR)

 

You must consult your staff or their representatives in the risk assessment process. They will have useful information about how work is done which will help you understand the actual risks.

 

For advice on how to involve employees visit HSE's worker involvement web pages.

Yes. The HSE has produced a template to help you record your assessment

 

This is not the only way to record your assessment. You can record the assessment in any convenient way so long as it is retrievable.

You should review your risk assessment:

  • if it is no longer valid
  • if there has been a significant change

 

Your workplace will change over time. You are likely to bring in new equipment and procedures. There may be advances in technology. You may have an accident or a case of ill health. You should review your assessment if any of these events happen.

 

Remember to amend your assessment as a result of your review.

 

There is no set frequency for carrying out a review. 

Company policy and procedures

It is essential that procedures detailing how employers intend to deal with the following F2D elements are included in any occupational road risk policy

Further guidance on developing policies and procedures (what should they include and look like) can be found in Company policy and procedures.

Responsibilities and rights

Yes – definitely. Your personal insurer requires you to declare any collisions in motor vehicles regardless of who owns it. Failure to do so may invalidate your personal motor insurance cover.

It is the responsibility of all employees to bring safety issues to the attention of their employer – supervisors must be trained to receive such reports and how to action/escalate responses to them. It is vital that employees get feedback on what they reported

Health Issues / Symptoms

A change in the way someone acts can be a sign of stress, for example, they may:

o                take more time off

o                arrive for work later

o                be more twitchy or nervous

 

A change in the way someone thinks or feels can also be a sign of stress, for example:

o                mood swings

o                being withdrawn

o                loss of motivation, commitment and confidence

o                increased emotional reactions – being more tearful, sensitive or aggressive

There may be signs of stress in a team, like:

o                arguments

o                higher staff turnover

o                more reports of stress

o                more sickness absence

o                decreased performance

o                more complaints and grievances

Your workplace risk assessment must specifically consider any risks to the health and safety of a new or expectant mother, or that of her baby.

 Possible risks include:

o                Movements and postures

o                Mental and physical fatigue, working hours

o                Stress (including post-natal depression)

o                Travelling

If a significant health and safety risk is identified for a new or expectant mother, which goes beyond the normal level of risk found outside the workplace, you must take the following actions:

Action 1: Temporarily adjust her working conditions and/or working hours; or if that is not possible

Action 2: Offer her suitable alternative work (at the same rate of pay) if available; or if that is not possible

Action 3: Suspend her from work on paid leave for as long as necessary to protect her health and safety, and that of her child.

 

However, the Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that, where appropriate, suitable alternative work should be offered (on the same terms and conditions) before any suspension from work.

Even if you are not aware of any problems you should have your eyes tested every 2 years. The eye test is a regular health check, which can detect underlying health problems as well as changes in your vision. It may need to be more frequent depending on your age and medical history. Your Optometrist will normally advise you when you should return for your next eye test.

You must wear glasses or contact lenses every time you drive if you need them to meet the ‘standards of vision for driving’. [You could be prosecuted if you drive without meeting the standards of vision for driving.]?

You must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres.

 

You must also meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye.

 

You must also have an adequate field of vision - your optician can tell you about this and do a test.

 

Lorry and bus drivers

You must have a visual acuity at least 0.8 (6/7.5) measured on the Snellen scale in your best eye and at least 0.1 (6/60) on the Snellen scale in the other eye.

 

You can reach this standard using glasses with a corrective power not more than (+) 8 dioptres, or with contact lenses. There’s no specific limit for the corrective power of contact lenses.

 

You must have a horizontal visual field of at least 160 degrees, the extension should be at least 70 degrees left and right and 30 degrees up and down. No defects should be present within a radius of the central 30 degrees.

 

You must tell DVLA if you’ve got any problem with your eyesight that affects either eye.

Having the difficult conversation
Documentation and Licensing

You should check this regularly. Some organisations do this every six months or yearly, others do random checks. You could do more frequent checks with employees that they have been given penalty points. Cover checking insurance and MOT certificates etc

 

Prevention of Ill Health
Collision investigation