Health and Safety – Route Planning

Driving is one of the most dangerous activities that people do throughout their working day.  It is estimated that around 150 people are killed or seriously injured each week, whilst driving for work and that the majority of those accidents could have been prevented.

Employers have a duty of care to their employees to put in place all reasonably practicable measures to keep their employees safe whilst on the road. 

In the first instance, maintain driver safety by ensuring the vehicles your drivers are using are fit for purpose and in a roadworthy condition, drivers are taking regular breaks to avoid fatigue and loss in concentration and that drink or drug driving is prohibited.

Ensure that every journey your drivers need to take is a planned one.  When planning a journey take into account the following:

• Accident hot spots or current road works.

• High risk areas like schools, shopping centres and hospitals.

• Low bridges – will your vehicles fit under them.

• Width and / or weight restrictions on roads. 

• Road types.

• Avoid peak traffic hours where possible.

If your drivers are using a sat nav system for their journeys, ensure that they plan the route before setting off and that they input the type of vehicle they are using, again to avoid bridge strikes and narrow or weight restricted roads. Do not adjust them whilst driving. Only to do so whilst parked in a safe place. 

Make sure that the route plans allows for drivers to take adequate breaks in their journey, plan places for them to stop for their breaks and where to stop for the night if necessary. 

Promote safe driving amongst your drivers to ensure they understand and stay within the speed limits for their vehicle and the roads they will be using. Avoid distractions from in cab technology and do not drive under the influence of drink or drugs (including medication that may affect their ability to drive) and that they are aware of safe distances to drive at. 

Where possible avoid driving in adverse conditions, particularly around areas that may become flooded in bad weather, avoid your drivers getting stranded in remote locations.  If the weather alerts are issued to avoid travelling by road, ensure that your drivers are comfortable and aware of how to postpone or re-route their journeys, weather alerts can be put in place for high winds, fog, heavy rain, snow, ice and flooding. 

Most importantly ensure that your drivers know how to raise concerns about either their vehicle or the routes they need to take and what to do if there is an incident including accidents and breakdowns or issues with customers. 

If you need any assistance with health and safety, please get in touch through info@totalcompliance.co.uk or call 0345 9001312.

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