Winter is here and with early forecasts of snow and ice it is important that organisations ensure their employees are provided with safety guidance for the change in conditions.
Statistics from the Department for Transport show that for the year ending June 2019 there were 1870 reported road deaths and 157,630 casualties of all severities, with one in three road traffic collisions involving people who are driving as part of their employment.
In addition to the potential downtime of company vehicles and staff absence following an incident, employers have a responsibility under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 for employees who drive whilst at work and this includes any private vehicles that are used on or in connection with the company's business activities.
By following some simple steps during the winter months, you will be in a better position to help protect your employees.
Make sure vehicles are maintained and serviced and you have a good battery.
Ensure tyres have adequate tread depth and inflated correctly
Ensure the cooling system contains antifreeze at the correct strength
Don’t drive off until you have cleared snow and ice off the windscreen, windows, mirrors, lights, and indicators.
To avoid snow sliding down your windscreen while driving, clear snow off the vehicle roof if you have safe access.
When Driving in Wintry Conditions
Drive according to the conditions on treated and untreated roads
Reduce speed in poor visibility, where there is snow or ice may have formed
Use the highest gear as possible to help keep control of the vehicle and avoid harsh braking or steering
Increase your distance from the vehicle on front. It can take 10 times longer to stop in icy conditions
Use dipped headlights in poor visibility and snow
It is now easier to prosecute companies under corporate manslaughter following a fatal accident, so organisations should have policies, procedures and ‘safe systems of work' in place that reduce work related risks associated with the on-the-road activities of employees and severe weather driving should be part of that.
To help, QBE Insurance have put together some winter fact sheets covering winter driving, preventing de-frosting vehicle crime, driving in fog, driving in wet conditions, and driving on flooded roads.
If you would like to download the guides, please click the links below
Northern Risk Solutions are independent Insurance Brokers. We provide Insurance and Risk Management solutions to a range of different industries. If you would like to discuss your fleet insurance requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us.