Figures released this week show a rise in fatalities on Britain's roads. With winter almost upon us – and with it Road Safety Week – employers should play their part in encouraging safer driving.
Road Safety Week, co-ordinated by Brake, has been taking place in the third week of November for the last 18 years. As awareness and support for this campaign grows each year, it is troubling to see the latest figures released by the Department of Transport this week showing a 4% increase in the number of those killed or seriously injured on GB roads for the year ending June 2014.
A survey of 700 UK businesses in 2013 by Fleet21 found that found that many employers have invested a lot of time in understanding the issues around road safety and have implemented a wide range of driver safety and compliance procedures. However, the survey also found there were a large number of businesses who hadn’t thought to tackle the issue.
A report published in June 2014 by Road Safety Analysis (RSA), compiled in partnership with AXA Business Insurance, found that van drivers are more likely to be involved in collisions due to tiredness and tailgating rather than speeding. The report explored the trends surrounding van driver collisions in Great Britain and identified situations which are “far more dangerous in a van”, including reversing, motorway driving, parking and changing lanes. The report also suggested that driver training was essential.
Truck driver's blind-spot and cyclists. A frightening insight into how drivers of semi-trucks can easily miss cyclists travelling alongside them.
Certainly among British Safety Council construction members, the issue of cyclist safety in London with HGV drivers has been a topic for some time. A number of our members have been involved and are supporting the Transport for London's Construction Logistics Initiative – an initiative devised by the construction industry to improve vulnerable road user safety. The Standard for construction logistics: Managing work related road risk (WRRR) was welcomed by Health and Safety Executive as a positive step towards improving the management of work related road risk. The standard (version 1) was released in December 2013, and is due to be reviewed every two years.
Businesses understand the centrality of health and safety in helping them achieve their organisation’s business objectives. It is essential that road risk and on-road collisions are prevented. It is an appropriate time of the year to ask our members – and employers generally – to play their part, not only in creating awareness and understanding with their workers, but also in timely reminders or with refresher training. The consequences of blind spots in the system are all too clear to see in the reported fatalities and injuries – be they cyclist, driver, pedestrian or passenger – and the impact it has on individuals’ lives.
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