Workplace safe cars
Anyone driving a car as part of their work duties is in a workplace, even when on a public road. Therefore, car safety falls under the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Act (2004).
Road safety is a significant OH&S risk for employees. In Victoria during 2004/2005, 27 employees were killed in work related road crashes. Furthermore 664 employees suffered injuries that required more than 10 days off work, which translates to approximately 2.1% of work cover claims during that year.
Safety cannot be left to chance. Employers need to take explicit action to ensure that their employees know about and practise safe car use. These measures can include:
- identifying driving tasks and setting reasonable expectations of time on the road;
- assessing the risk of death or injury whilst driving and checking the car’s safety features;
- introducing safe driving policies addressing speeding and road rules generally;
- providing information on car safety, risky driving conditions and promoting a safe driving culture;
- discouraging even hands-free mobile phone use while driving, and
- providing information about the dangers of driver fatigue.
More specific information for employers is available from Worksafe and the Guide to safe work-related driving developed by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and WorkSafe Victoria to help reduce deaths and injuries resulting from work-related driving.
Remember, ensuring that your fleet consists of safer cars (those rated with a minimum 4 star rating) can help to reduce injury in a crash. Review the information on crash avoidance technologies
- features that help you avoid being in a crash, like electronic stability control (ESC)
, anti-lock braking systems (ABS)
and traction control
and crash protection
- features that protect you in an accident, like seat belts, airbags and car crumple zones before your next fleet purchase.