Driver Risk Assessments
If driver training is thought of as being expensive, perhaps a different perspective will be realised when looking at the cost associated with not complying with Health and Safety law and then having an employee becoming involved in a serious Road Traffic Collision. Those who are more interested in protecting their assets, as well as their workforce, will have in place a policy of training and driver risk assessments.
During the working day over three quarters of drivers on the road are there for company business. Most of those will be driving company owned vehicles, but over three quarters of them all will have not received any form of post test driver training, or had their ability evaluated.
Courses for the development of driver skills, in the corporate world, is all too often made available to employees very much on the basis of reluctance. Largely, it is not regarded as having any value in terms of tangible income, and yet, costing only a fraction of that required to buy training for the use of an office software package, for example, driver skills development is regarded with less importance.
The vehicle used by a company employee, when driving for work purposes, becomes his or her place of work. Therefore, if that vehicle becomes involved in a road traffic collision, and the company employee is injured or killed as a result, this is usually classed as an accident in the work place.
Health and Safety legislation has for many years stipulated that employees must be afforded appropriate training when operating machinery and it has been recognised how this should extend to the use of a motor vehicle on a road. Skills should be evaluated regularly too, so as to ensure that safety standards are maintained. However, the responsibility, and culpability, was always that of the company office, and therefore no individual was held to account in law.
The bringing to law in April 2008 of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, things changed. Under the Act individuals then had to take responsibility for the shortcomings within the company environment and may be personally punished if an incident has occurred through their negligence. This punishment could now be delivered as a term of imprisonment.