The Road Safety at Work Week campaign has kicked off today and will run until March 10, bringing awareness to safety while driving on the job.
Employers are responsible for the safety of employees when they drive for work regardless of who owns the vehicle they drive. Whether it’s a fleet van or personal sedan, if the vehicle is used for work, it’s part of a workplace and that means employers have obligations for employee safety.
“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,” said Trina Pollard, WorkSafeBC manager of transportation in industry and labour services. “Employers can address this by having a safe driving policy in place that includes the use of personal vehicles for work purposes.”
The campaign reminds employers that they have the same legal obligations for employee safety when employees drive personal vehicles for work as when they drive company vehicles, especially because motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of traumatic workplace deaths in B.C.
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; and confirm that 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; and 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.