The Mobile Workplace

When using a car for business use that car is seen as a workplace under the OHS Act. As such employers have an obligation to ensure that workers are trained in safe operation of the car. Yet very few employers invest in safe driving courses, defensive driving programs or refresher projects for their workers. Instead relying on the worker to take responsibility for safety in the car.

This leads to huge exposure at a governance level and is putting many workers who must use a car for work, at risk. A study earlier this year found that two in three Australians drive to work with 13.3. millions registered vehicles in Australia. Of the total kilometres travelled by passenger vehicles in 2012, 52.7% was for personal and other use. The remaining kilometres travelled by passenger vehicles comprised travel to and from work (27.3%) and business use (19.9%).

With so many cars on the road how can we ensure they’re driving safely?

According to Peter Sylvester, Head of Group Safety and Wellbeing at NRMA safety is quite often proportionate and relative to behavioural factors of drivers including speeding, fatigue, alcohol and non-usage of restraints. He said many drivers do not understand or simply underestimate the effects of speeding, fatigue and alcohol.

“Speeding was a factor in the deaths of 818 people over 5 years 2008-2012,” he said. “In addition to those killed, more than 4100 people were injured each year in speed related crashes between 1008 and 2012.”

“While the NSW road toll has decreased from in the year 2000 to in 2012 the proportion of these that are related to the behavioural factors of speeding, fatigue, alcohol, and non-usage of restraints remains high. Speeding remains the biggest killer on our roads. In NSW speeding is a factor in about 40% of road deaths. This means over the years 2000 to 2012 on average 190 people died each year in speeding related crashes in NSW .(Transport for NSW “ Behavioural risk factors in NSW crashes and casualties “ 2000-2012 .)”

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Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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