Looking after employees’ welfare is of upmost importance to all businesses, but what about when a driver is unfit for work? Every year, accidents occur as a result of a driver being unfit for work – due to health issues. While a driver should always update their employer of any changes to their health, which might affect their job, this doesn’t always happen.
What does it mean to be ‘unfit for work’?
Being unfit to work doesn’t always mean a driver has to suffer from a serious health condition. Stress, insomnia, and severe colds can lead to unsafe driving too. Motorists are already obliged to tell the DVLA about pre-existing conditions like epilepsy, sleep apnoea and diabetes too.
According to ROSPA, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, “Illness or disability, mental or physical” contributes to around 6% of reported fatal road accidents, 3% of reported serious road accidents and 2% of all reported road accidents. Actual numbers are thought to be higher though, due to the difficulties in assessing whether a driver had a medical condition and if it contributed to the crash.
An employer’s responsibilities
According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a “duty of care” for the safety of employees at work. As part of this, employers should always be actively seeking out solutions to ensure drivers’ wellbeing at work.
Technology solutions that are being considered more and more in the industry, to protect employee health, include:
StopSafe is one of our newest products and crucial for stopping ‘out of control’ vehicles. Throw an unfit driver into the mix and StopSafe can even save lives, bringing a vehicle to a controlled stop when the emergency button is pressed. The foolproof design ensures there’s no skidding; no swerving and no lock up. What’s more, the technology can be connected to an audible or visual warning to let pedestrians and other road users know that the vehicle is stopping.
It’s braking technologies, like these, that play a pivotal role in accidents that occur as a result of ill health – for example, the Glasgow tragedy in 2015, where the driver of a bin lorry lost consciousness at the wheel – killing 6 people. There may well have had a completely different outcome had braking technology been used. The driver, who would have been deemed unfit to drive when being assessed for the renewal of his HGV licence – if he had told the doctor he fainted the year before, would have benefited from braking technology. Despite the fact he shouldn’t have been driving, braking technology would have prevented an accident like this from happening and also ensured peace of mind.
For more information on our latest braking technologies, contact the Vision Techniques team today. You can contact us online or give us a call on 08452 873 170.