Road Accidents Costing UK PLC Pounds 2.7bn a Year; Executive Motoring SAFETY: Companies Urged to Have Risk-Assessment Strategy
Byline: ROBIN ROBERTS
BRITISH business is losing up to pounds 2.7bn a year as a consequence of at-work road traffic accidents.
And society is paying a further pounds 1bn as a result of the more than 100,000 road accidents a year involving staff driving on company business.
The alarming figures - revealed just days ahead of publication of the long-awaited Government and Health and Safety Commissionsponsored Work-Related Road Safety Task Group's report - has resulted in Berkshire-based Risk Answers urging companies to ensure they have a comprehensive risk assessment strategy in place.
The group is not proposing the introduction of any tough new laws to govern at-work road safety. Instead it is calling for tougher application and enforcement of existing legislation by the Health and Safety Executive and police.
Risk Answers' non-executive director David Faithful, who is also a solicitor and partner in Birmingham-based insurance solicitors Amery-Parkes, said, "Companies will be compelled to report all accidents, however small, to the Health and Safety Executive. Companies that have a higher than average number of accidents are likely to be investigated.
"But most companies don't have occupational driving accident reporting systems in place.
The report will lay down best practice guidelines and fleets will be expected to implement them.
"Companies will be expected to have their own risk assessment strategy which includes assessment and action on an on-going basis.
"A risk assessment strategy is a working document. It is not a document that is written once and then put on a shelf to gather dust.
"Health and Safety inspectors who investigate at-work road traffic accidents will expect to see a business's risk management document covering road safety."
Latest figures reveal that annually 320,000 people are involved in road traffic accidents, and the group estimates that 25-33pc of those accidents involve someone at work. …