Work-related Road Safety Task Group: preventing at-work road traffic incidents

  • Published: Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 2001
  • Authors: Richard Dykes
  • Date Added: 02 Aug 2013
  • Last Update: 22 Apr 2016
  • Format: pdf


To show that existing health and safety law should be applied to on-the-road work activities and that employers should manage road risk in the same way as they manage other occupational health and safety risks.


A task group established a number of smaller sub-groups to look at intelligence gathering on at-work road safety, arrangements for engaging others in this work and to examine the roles and responsibilities of enforcement bodies and how they might work more closely together. It also commissioned, through HSE, research into the quantification of at-work road traffic incidents and a study into liaison arrangements between road safety and health and safety enforcers.

An important aspect of the work was to seek to engage as wide a range of people as possible to help us with deliberations.

It also sought views on whether action should be taken to reduce the number of at-work road traffic incidents; whether health and safety management systems, if applied to on-the-road risk, would have an impact; issues surrounding driver competence; how to effect change; and on reporting systems and enforcement issues.

Key Findings

  • There should be a more rigorous application of existing health and safety at work law to on the-road work activities, including occupational driving.

  • Based on their risk assessment, employers should include measures to manage at-work road safety within their existing health and safety management systems, consulting employees and their representatives as necessary. Employees should co-operate with their employer to enable them to comply with their statutory duties; and they should take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others affected by their actions.

  • Based on their risk assessment, employers should ensure that their employees are competent to drive, or work on or by roads, safely. A specific driving test for occupational drivers, beyond what is already required by law, is not recommended.

  • HSE should lead a public information campaign, in concert with DTLR and others, to alert employers that their occupational health and safety risk management systems should cover at-work road safety.

  • HSE, in consultation with stakeholders and as soon as possible, should develop generic guidance for employers and others on how to manage at-work road safety.

  • HSE should review the impact of its guidance in Spring 2004, to determine whether to recommend the production of an HSC Approved Code of Practice on the issue.

  • The police report form (STATS 19) should be amended at its next quinquennial review (2002) to include questions about journey purpose.

  • At the next review of the RIDDOR regulations, HSC/E should consider how at-work road traffic incidents involving fatalities, major and over 3-day injuries should be reported to the enforcing authorities.

  • The various health and safety and road safety enforcing authorities, led by HSE, should develop ways of working to investigate at-work road traffic incidents and take appropriate enforcement action; and to adopt a coordinated approach to preventive activity.

  • DTLR and HSE should develop a programme of research to learn more about at-work road safety issues for example on causation, the practicability and effectiveness of management interventions, human factors, costs of at-work road traffic incidents, roadside working, international and intermodal comparisons.

  • An appropriate standing body should be charged with taking forward the recommendations in this report and monitoring their implementation, preparing a first update on progress to Ministers and HSC in Spring 2004.


Employers, risk –assessment, RIDDOR, Health and Safety, HSE


Recommendations were based on the opinions of practitioners and business managers.