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Road Safety at Work Week March 6-10

Mar 2, 2017

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Employers are responsible for the safety of employees when they drive for work regardless of who owns the vehicle they drive. Fleet van or personal sedan, if the vehicle is used for work, it is a workplace and that means employers have obligations for employee safety.

That is the message of this year’s Road Safety at Work Week campaign running March 6-10.

The campaign reminds employers that they have the same legal obligations for employee safety when employees drive personal vehicles for work as when employees drive company vehicles.

This means employers must:
• Confirm employee-owned vehicles are fit for purpose, regularly inspected and properly maintained.
• Provide employees with instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure their safety.
• Confirm employees know and follow company safe driving policies and procedures.
• Employees also have responsibilities when they drive their own vehicles for work. They must:
• Know and obey applicable traffic laws.
• Take steps to ensure their safety and the safety of their passengers.
• Follow company safe work policies and procedures.
• Not drive or work if impaired by alcohol, drugs or any other means.
• Report work-related hazards to their supervisor or employer.
An employee must also make sure their vehicle is licensed, insured, operated and maintained in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Act and its Regulations, and other statutes if the vehicle is used for commercial purposes.

Activities for Road Safety At Work Week

Employers are encouraged to use Road Safety At Work Week to:
• Conduct safety talks with your staff
• Print or download road safety materials from Road Safety At Work Week and share them with your workers
• Conduct safety checks of the vehicles your employees drive for work and review their insurance coverage and driving records
Why is road safety important?

In B.C., motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of traumatic workplace deaths. Twenty workers a year on average are killed and another 1,260 are injured due to motor vehicle crashes while driving for work. (Source: WorkSafeBC, 2011 to 2015).

Most B.C. businesses – 75 % - understand that they have legal responsibilities for employee safety when employees drive a company vehicle for work. However, fewer - only 59 % – understand that their legal responsibilities extend to employees who drive their own vehicles for work. (Source: Road Safety At Work Employer Survey March 2016)

Road safety resources for the workplace can be found on the Road Safety at Work website, including Understanding Employer Road Safety Responsibilities, a free online course that provides employers with practical knowledge of relevant statutes; how to satisfy requirements; and where to access resources to help build and implement necessary measures and actions.

Road Safety at Work Week is an initiative of WorkSafeBC and the Justice Institute of BC promoting work-related road safety. Employers are encouraged to take this opportunity to implement or improve safe driving-for-work policies and procedures for their workplaces.

Follow us on Twitter @RoadSafeAtWork and use #RSAWWeek to join the conversation. Quotes:
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond

“Employers in B.C. have the same duty to ensure the safety of employees when they are behind the wheel as when they are in the office or on a construction site. I encourage employers to use Road Safety at Work Week as an opportunity to have a road safety chat with employees, and to make sure the right safeguards are in place for a safe workplace – even when the workplace is on the road. We want every worker to arrive home to their families safely at the end of the work day.”

WorkSafeBC, Manager, Transportation in Industry and Labour Services, Trina Pollard
“With more employees driving their personal vehicles for work purposes, employers need to understand and follow-through on their safety obligations. Thirty-one per cent of all WorkSafeBC traumatic fatalities are caused by motor vehicle crashes. Employers can address this by having a safe driving policy in place that includes the use of personal vehicles for work purposes.”