Vehicles in the Workplace: Harmonised National Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) Legislation
There is a lack of information available for OH&S and Risk Managers in Australia regarding the use of workplace vehicles and from my experience it has not been an area of focus.
Organisations should be aware that Driving is potentially your greatest identifiable risk to your workers.
33% of Motor Vehicle accidents on Australian roads involved vehicles used for work purposes and the likelihood of an employee, contractor or volunteer being involved in an incident is 1 in every 4. Statistics also reveal that the greatest cause of workplace deaths in Australia is vehicles.
A workplace vehicle not only includes Fleet leased company vehicles but also your Grey Fleet. The definition of a Grey Fleet includes; Novated Leases, Car allowances (Hire Purchases, Chattel Mortgages,) or your worker’s own Private vehicle. Most organisations have a combination of the above vehicles.
NOW this does create a wider OH&S issue.
The implementation of a comprehensive vehicle policy over your driving workforce that is compliant with your “Duty of Care” obligations is a daunting and time consuming task.
To complicate it further you will also need to provide a “Duty of Care” for contractors, sub contractors, volunteers and work experience students.
Under the New Laws you are required to implement what is reasonably practicable. This should include and cover your Duty of Care responsibilities for all your workers. The penalties for the PCBU or Officer (you) can include fines of up to $825,000 for a corporation and for an individual $82,500 and/or 2 years imprisonment.
My first suggestions is for you to undertake a risk audit of your Leased and Grey fleet of vehicles and who drives for work purposes. DriverCare can offer you the tools to complete a risk audit.
DriverCare can provide you with an easy implemented and comprehensive solution for your driving workforce and vehicle safety needs. For further information please visit their website or contact them to discuss your needs.