Driving is the most dangerous activity we face at work

Employers have a legal duty of care to protect employees from harm and manage the day to day risks of driving.

And makes no difference if a company car, van, bike or private car is used.

Fail in your duty of care and you risk prosecution, fines, and in serious cases, imprisonment.

Your legal responsibility

Driving for work, no matter how trivial the reason, falls under the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974). It is a criminal offence to allow a person to drive for work if they are not legally entitled to use the vehicle.

So, what is a business-related or work-related journey?

All of these activities constitute driving on business and come under the remit of the duty of care.

This means that an employer must check that employees:

Statistics

There are:

14 million grey fleet vehicles in the UK today.

8 million people driving on company business every day.

In 2015 the Occupational Road Safety Alliance recorded

45,859 work related road casualties

4,822 of them serious including

541 killed.

More than a quarter of all road traffic incidents may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time.
...the Health and Safety Executive
more than a quarter of all road traffic incidents may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time.

Fines

Deaths on the road may be classified as manslaughter.

Fines for conviction under the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007 are based on the size and turnover of the organisations with a starting fine of £300,000 and a no limit maximum.

In the event of an employee accident, you (the employer) risk

Going to jail The police are mandated to investigate road accident fatalities as manslaughter.

Being fined Unlimited fines based on your turnover, not profit, i.e. big enough to close you down.

Civil action being taken by your own staff, and/or a third-party insurer.

Myth busting

During the course of creating our system we came across many misconceptions

My business is too small

The legislation applies equally to all businesses who are employers, from sole traders to PLC's. There are additional requirements placed on businesses that employ over 5 people.

I don't run company vehicles

If you drive (or ask a third party to drive) a vehicle on company business - whoever it belongs to, or however short the journey - it applies to you.

My staff run their own cars

Whoever the vehicle belongs to, it becomes your company's responsibility to ensure that it is roadworthy and maintained as per the manufacturers service schedule, that it is taxed and insured for business use, and carries a correct MoT certificate etc.

Employees tick a declaration on their expenses claim therefore it's their responsibility

Regardless of this declaration, it is still your responsibility to ensure you've collected the appropriate duty of care documentation.

All this is handled by our Leasing Company/Accountants/Insurance Brokers/Bankers/Lawyers etc.

The law is quite clear in this respect: It is the responsibility of Directors and Line Managers and cannot be transferred to a third party.