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The Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance ScORSA website goes live

A ground breaking resource to help Scottish businesses save lives on the road is to be unvailed today in front of chief fire officers from across the UK.

The Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance (ScORSA) website – www.scorsa.org.uk – will go live at the Chief Fire Officers’ Association’s annual road safety conference, in Glasgow. It will be launched during a presentation by Dr Karen McDonnell, head of RoSPA Scotland, one of the alliance partners.

ScORSA is a unique initiative to help smaller firms tackle one of the most dangerous activities undertaken by Scottish workers: driving. A third of all road accidents in the UK are estimated to involve someone who was driving for work at the time, which means that in Scotland in 2008, around 18 people were killed or seriously injured in such incidents every week.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has made managing occupational road risk (MORR) one of its major campaign issues for more than a decade. The issue is also a crucial part of the ambitious Scotland Road Safety Framework to 2020 launched earlier this year.

ScORSA is the fruit of a multi-partner working group initiated by RoSPA after the safety charity saw that smaller firms were struggling to get to grips with MORR. As well as having an online resource hub where firms can access the latest information and advice, ScORSA offers practical help.

Organisations joining ScORSA – which is free to companies committing to the alliance’s vision statement – will receive up to 10 driver assessments through RoSPA’s Driver Profiler software, an online psychometric risk assessment tool. Membership also allows access to practical policy help from road safety officers and the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, key ScORSA partners.

Dr Karen McDonnell said: "Giving attention to MORR makes sense for business reasons such as enhanced company reputation and cost-savings from fewer accidents. There are also clear moral and legal justifications. Employers are well placed to make a real difference to road safety across Scotland."

Robert Atkinson, occupational health and safety development manager at the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, said: "Managing occupational road risk is not just relevant for professional drivers like truckers and bus drivers, it’s something which affects anyone who drives for work, be they sales representatives, delivery-people or managers who drive to meetings. The Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives is working to improve the health and safety of Scots at work and that includes minimising the risks involved in activities such as driving."

Kathleen Braidwood, RoSPA Scotland road safety officer, added: "ScORSA is much-needed. As drivers become more aware of occupational road risk, they will become safer users of our country’s roads and will ultimately contribute to casualty reduction in Scotland."

The CFOA conference at the IMAX Theatre in Glasgow is being held as part of the wider Rescue on the Clyde 2009 event taking place at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.

ScORSA is being launched at Rescue on the Clyde to honour Strathclyde Fire and Rescue’s commitment to the alliance. Other partners include the Scottish Government, the Scottish Ambulance Service,the Scottish Community Safety Network, the Scottish Chamber of Safety and the Health and Safety Executive.

See the website, email info@scorsa.org.uk or call RoSPA Scotland on 0131 449 9379 for more information about joining ScORSA.

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