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ROAD SAFETY: Industry expresses desire for work-related safety standard

Date: 24 April 2013

Research has highlighted a need and appetite among business car industry professionals for a nationwide road safety standard. Paul Barker reports.

Momentum is building for a universal work-related road safety standard after a report found management of work-driving risk is "lagging behind" other areas of health and safety, and that a national enforceable standard is needed to ensure firms understand and meet their responsibilities.

The Transport Research Laboratory has produced the report, entitled A Gap Analysis of Work-Related Road Safety in the UK: Working Towards a National Standard, examining two questions. Firstly, it looked at what a national standard for the management of road-related road risk should look like, and secondly, as the report was sponsored by the Metropolitan Police Service, what role or roles the police might play is supporting and/or contributing to a standard.

Unsurprisingly to those working in the industry, the report's first key finding was that "the management of work-related road risk is widely perceived to be lagging behind the management of health and safety risk in the workplace".

Report recommendations.

The Transport Research Laboratory report identified a list of components that could constitute the basis for a national standard in work-related road safety. These include measures that seek to reduce driving overall, as well as in the following situations:
. during the highest risk periods related to sleepiness (broadly, 2-6am and 2-4pm)
. while using in-car devices that are distracting (e.g. mobile phones)
. while under time pressure (and thus may lead to increased speed)
. in specific, identified risky situations in particular sectors (for example, planning journeys to avoid large goods/construction vehicles interacting with cyclists at junctions).