Employees on the Road; Minimising the Risks
2 June 2016
For most of us, driving is a big part of our lives, whether it be to get to/from work, as part of our work, travelling to/from our hobbies, or chauffeuring the kids!
Where a business has staff who travel as part of their work, the business has a responsibility to ensure the safety of their staff (and contractors).
Fatigue is a major issue that is often unnoticed by drivers, particularly the non-physical signs of fatigue. Below are the signs to look out for when on the road:
The physical signs of fatigue:
- Sore or tired eyes
- Blurred vision
- Slow blinking
- Feeling sleepy
- Hunching forward
- Sluggish body
- Slowed responses
The non-physical signs of fatigue:
- Becoming forgetful
- Poor judgement
- Becoming unaware of time
- Making mistakes
- Finding it difficult to concentrate
- Apathy (lack of interest)
- Mood swings
- Grinding the gears
Remember you should not start to drive or continue driving if you have any signs of fatigue.
Driver fatigue can be managed by individuals, using techniques like: managing sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, exercise and sufficient leisure time, but as busy people these methods can often be hard to maintain.
As an employer, the risk of driver fatigue can be minimised by monitoring work hours, monitoring travel distances, monitoring the number of consecutive work days, and encouraging overnight stays if travelling out of town.
Daily vehicle checks for company vehicles are also a must. This includes checking WOF, Registration, Oil, Water Levels, Tyre pressures…etc. You can see the VHNZ full vehicle inspection list here .
A business considerate of the health and safety of their employees thinks not only of the risks whilst an employee is on site but also how they are getting to and from the workplace and between work locations. By introducing some checks, some driver time management, and by making driver safety a conversation within the office, a business can help minimise the risk to their employees whilst on the road.