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WORK RELATED ROAD RISK

Greater role for HSE investigating work related road incidents

New guidance for regulators on work-related road traffic incidents reveals that HSE will now be involved where there is a need to use health and safety legislation in cases of ‘serious management shortcomings’.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Road Deaths Investigation Manual (pages 119-121) identifies circumstances in which H&S management failures require referral to HSE because the failures cannot be addressed by ’cause and permit’ provisions of road traffic law.

Police/ CPS can prosecute employers under “cause or permit” provisions of road traffic law. The offence usually requires proof of knowledge on the part of the employer that the vehicle, driver or activity was unlawful.

The guidance states that HSE will not usually have a role in relation to vehicle design or as regards employee duties under HSW Act s.7.

Comment: This new regulator guidance suggests that in future HSE are likely to be involved rather more in work related road incidents. This may lead some to feel that company policy and action on Driving at Work’ should move further up the construction industry H&S agenda.

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