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More action needed on work-related road safety

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents today welcomed a report from the House of Commons Transport Committee saying that more needs to be done to investigate deaths in work-related road accidents.

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA Head of Road Safety, said: “RoSPA has been campaigning about managing occupational road risk for more than 10 years and we believe the Health and Safety Executive could have a much greater part in this.”

The report – Ending the Complacency: Road Safety Beyond 2010 – estimates that there were between 750 and 1,000 deaths on the road last year linked to someone being at work.

It says: “It is anomalous that the vast majority of work-related deaths are not examined by the Health and Safety Executive, purely because they occur on the roads.

“The Government should review the role of the HSE with regard to road safety to ensure that it fulfils its unique role in the strategy beyond 2010.”

It also says the Government should work with employers' organisations and trade unions on the issue, including an evaluation of its Driving for Better Business initiative. Fiscal and financial incentives are suggested to encourage employers to use vehicles with additional proven safety features, which could help increase safety features in the wider UK vehicle fleet.

Kevin Clinton said: “It is important to make the correct selection of vehicles so that employees are using the right car or van for the job they have to do. But employers also need people, policies and procedures in place to manage occupational road risk as part of their mainstream health and safety policies.”

RoSPA recently launched a major research study aimed at helping young drivers to stay safe when they are on the road as part of their job and is seeking the views of managers who employ 17-24-year-old drivers. It will lead to a better understanding of the safety issues involved in these employees getting behind the wheel for tasks such as making deliveries, going to meetings or travelling between sites. See: www.rospa.com/roadsafety/youngdriversatwork/

The Society also welcomed proposals for a road accident investigation branch to parallel those for aviation, marine and rail and was encouraged that the committee wants a thorough examination of the drink-drive limit. “There have been many road safety successes over the years, but this report will help in the development of a road safety strategy for the next 10 to 20 years,” Kevin Clinton said.

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