For the first time the Department of Transport’s annual road casualty statistics, police data has recorded the purpose of journeys. These statistics from the Department for Transport reveal that at work vehicles were involved in over 54,000 crashes in 2005 or150 per day.
GMB represents thousands of working drivers in many industries including the retail logistic industry serving major Supermarkets such as Asda Wal-Mart and fast food outlets such as 3663, private hire industry (mini cabs), chauffeurs, couriers services such as DHL and road rescue services such as the AA and others.
GMB calls for all serious work related road traffic accidents to be included in the reporting of workplace accidents under the Reporting of Incidents, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (1995) ,commonly known as the RIDDOR Regs.
The HSE claim that the ongoing review of the RIDDOR Regulations would decide if this would happen but also stated that it was felt that the police have better skills, expertise and resources. It would appear unlikely that at a time when the HSE is under threats of frontline job cuts and close scrutiny of their budget that they will be able to investigate work related driving deaths and serious accidents. GMB represents workers who drive for a living across a wide range of occupations including private hire cars, chauffeurs, haulage, AA and delivery.
John McClean, GMB National H&S Officer said, ”At a time when the HSE claim that workplace deaths are at their lowest recorded level there is a concern among GMB members, many of whom drive as part of their daily work, that not enough is being done to ensure that they and others are safe on our roads.
Long hours of working drivers, a lack of regular breaks and unnecessarily tight deadlines all lead to dangerous driving conditions in many occupations. There is a need for the HSE to investigate all work related deaths, including those on the road which are currently not part of the reporting regime”.
Contact: John McClean, GMB National Health & Safety Officer on 07710 631329 or GMB Press Office: Rose Conroy on 07974 251823.