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Reducing Corporate Risk, Driving Profits Higher

Work-related driving accidents are on the increase. 'Globally, more people are killed each year at work than are killed in wars' *. It's no surprise that statistics such as these have forced the Government to increase their focus on Health & Safety in the work place. The new Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act and the Work-Related Road Safety Task Group, which was set up in 2000, are a few examples of how the Government is showing an active approach to Health & Safety in the work place.

The new Corporate Manslaughter law puts a greater responsibility on companies to comply with Health and Safety legislations. In the unfortunate event of a fatality at work, if the company is found not to have complied with legislation accordingly they will be deemed responsible. With commercially caused deaths on the roads estimated to reach up to 1,000 each year and 1 in 3 company drivers being involved in an accident each year, the responsibility of companies to evaluate the risk facing their employees on the roads is increasing.

Absolute Fleet Training is a specialist organisation that focuses on road risk assessment. They are campaigning to reduce corporate liability by offering their occupational road risk assessment and driving courses to businesses. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states that companies are responsible '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' **. The large variety of driving assessments and courses offered by this organisation ensures that companies are fulfilling the 'duty of care' to their employees and also saving money. Companies can save up to 15% on their insurance premiums and reduce their fuel costs by up to 20%. There is also money to be saved by reducing lost time and having less missed sales opportunities.

The need for companies to take action in protecting their employees on the roads is more relevant than ever. By complying with Health and Safety legislation, companies do not only protect themselves from prosecution, but more importantly help reduce the risk to their employees.

Absolute Fleet Training operates throughout the UK. To read more visit their website www.absolute-fleet.com.

*Gary Slapper – professor of law – Open University
**http://www.hse.gov.uk/roadsafety/employers.htm

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