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Employers must play their part in reducing road deaths: Durkan

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Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has said that up to a third of all road traffic collisions may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has said that up to a third of all road traffic collisions may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time.

Minister Durkan made his comments today as he opened the ‘Managing Occupational Road Risk’ seminar, attended by nearly 100 organisations, in the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre.

Mark H Durkan said: “Employers are in a unique position to make a significant contribution to reducing the levels of those killed and seriously injured on our roads.

“A good strong driving at work policy will show that you as employers take your employee’s safety seriously not only when they are on work premises but also when they are driving as part of their work.

“There are also implications for employers. If one of your employees is killed while driving at work and there is evidence of serious management failures, then you risk being prosecuted under the ‘Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act’.

“Reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads is everyone’s responsibility. By encouraging road safety awareness in the workplace, this can bring us closer to our ambition of zero road deaths.”

Employers already have a duty under health and safety law for on-the-road work activities. This duty not only relates to employees who drive company vehicles but also extends to employees who drive their own vehicle to make work related journeys.

Sam Knox, a Director of the Road Safety Council for NI and one of the organisers said “It is terrific to see nearly 100 organisations represented at today’s event. It shows that there is an appetite amongst the business community to ensure the safety of their employees whilst driving”. He went on to say “We’re indebted to DOE Road Safety Division for funding the seminars through their Road Safety Grant Scheme and have found working with Northern Ireland Safety Group who are promoting the seminars an excellent way to reach out to employers”.

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