Managing your responsibilities as an employer

The main responsibilities imposed by the laws governing road safety fall on the shoulders of the driver of the vehicle.

He or she is responsible for driving a safe, adequately maintained and insured vehicle in a safe manner, having due regard to other road users and pedestrians.

However, it is important to know that a vehicle is considered to be a place of work and that as an employer you have a duty to provide a safe vehicle and insurance if the vehicle is owned by you.

You also have a duty of care to ensure that employees’ own vehicles, when driven for business use, are safe, they are licensed to drive them and insured for business use.

An employer is also “vicariously liable” for the acts of his employees. So, while the employee has a duty to comply with legislation, an employer is liable for the injuries or death negligently caused by one employee to another, or to a worker from another company on his premises or to a member of the public injured by an employee.

For instance, if an employee drives recklessly or breaks speed limits it is the drivers’ responsibility. However, if speeding was due to inappropriate scheduling of appointments by the employer, liability could be joint, i.e. they could both be prosecuted.

Incidents and accidents may affect your business insurance and may carry a criminal offence of corporate manslaughter. It may carry an unlimited fine as well as compulsory ‘Publicity Orders’ which could do serious damage to your business reputation and morale.

Managing the risk

Risk management is all about common sense. You look at what might happen, and take reasonable care to avoid foreseeable injury, disease or death.  Three key areas for risk management are:

The Driver

  • Driver vetting and selection
  • Induction procedures
  • Licence and insurance checks
  • Accident reporting procedures

The Vehicle

  • Vehicle suitability
  • Vehicle maintenance, inspections and record keeping
  • Vehicle security

The Journey

  • Journey planning
  • Managing driver fatigue
  • Speed management
  • Journey type

Don’t forget to keep good records!

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published guidance for employees on managing occupational road risk.  Driving at Work Guidance

Motor fleet insurance is just one of the many specialist business cover services available through Deacon as part of Gallagher.  When did you last give your insurance a health check? To find out more simply call the Deacon Agent team on 0808 149 9564.

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The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited trading as Deacon accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.