Last week, WorkSafe BC and the BCAA Safety Foundation launched a website called RoadSafetyAtWork.ca as on on-line toolkit for employers of workers who are required to drive as part of their job duties. The website contains “British Columbia’s Preferred Practices for Occupational Road Safety” which includes instructions to employers to help ensure the safety of their workers while on the road. The Preferred Practices link sets out a 5-step plan for employers:
1. Get management to commit to safety;
2. Conduct a status review;
3. Identify risks and hazards;
4. Develop strategies; and
5. Plan for Action
Although these 5 steps sound fairly vague and general, the website provides concrete and specific ways of implementing the plan. For example, “getting management to commit” includes guidelines around data management, communications, organizational structures, road safety policy and procedures, and even management style. Notably, the practices apply not only to employers that are in the business of driving (such as transportation) but any employer that requires any of its employees to use his or her own vehicle for business persons.
Although the website is designed as a resource for employer, it may be that WorkSafe will soon use the “preferred” practices as the measure to assess an employer’s compliance and due diligence under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. Employers should therefore measure their current road safety practices against these new WorkSafe preferred practices.