Very few organisations operate without using the road, resulting in millions of vehicles including buses, lorries, company cars and vans, being used for work purposes. We cannot forget those who work on or by the road, such as maintenance workers, postal employees and vehicle breakdown services. All of these are potential victims of road accidents.
Over a quarter of all road traffic collisions involve passenger and freight vehicles, costing companies a significant amount of money on vehicle repairs, increased insurance premiums and court defence costs, plus the consequences of injuries to the driver.
Determining the factors that contribute to any traffic incident is a complex process which can only be undertaken effectively using physical evidence from the accident scene and vehicles involved. Assessing the human, vehicle and environmental factors such as the drivers’ route selection, the condition of the involved vehicles, driver impairment issues, seat belt usage and potential issues with vehicle loading can help companies determine the causation factors for the incident.
If an employee causes a collision, depending on the severity of the incident companies could be investigated by the Health and Safety Executive, risk reputational damage and could potentially be charged with corporate manslaughter. Therefore, it would be beneficial for both large corporations and medium-sized businesses to manage this risk by understanding accident investigation techniques, so they can prepare their staff to handle questions and situations which may arise when their company vehicles and personnel are involved in road collisions.
It is important to note that not all collisions are investigated by the police; therefore it is crucial that organisations have capability and training in-house. More and more Health and Safety, Fleet and Operations Managers are being equipped with the knowledge and resources to assess the contributory factors surrounding traffic collisions and, importantly, to devise recommendations to prevent these incidents in the future.
Completion of collision investigation training will enable organisations to;
- Investigate accidents and capture potentially critical short-lived evidence to analyse the collision scene
- Effectively interview and take detailed statements from those involved in the collision, eye witnesses and first responders
- Report on why a collision occurred and what can be done to prevent it from happening again
- Advise the company’s legal position and corrective actions to take
- Make recommendations for company reviews of vehicle safety policies and investment
- Support staff training and the company’s disciplinary process
- Obtain collision investigation CPD accredited hours for professional development records