Understanding your responsibilities to your employees who drive for work
Understanding and complying with the regulations under which your company operates is fundamental to your business. Similarly, if you have employees who drive for work, there are specific road safety regulations you must understand and comply with. This is true whether you have drivers who drive for a living or those who drive only occasionally as part of their job. It is also the case whether an employee drives a company vehicle or their own.
Road safety regulations exist as a way to help employers prevent workplace crashes and the human, financial and liability costs they incur. In many cases, the regulations were created to address circumstances that contributed to worker injuries and/or fatalities in the past.
Even if you believe your managers and supervisors are meeting their obligations to your employees who drive for work, Road Safety at Work Week is the perfect time to test that belief. Who knows, you might find a gap or two and see opportunities to strengthen your processes and improve your results.
Where to begin and what to do? There are four easy steps.
Understand which rules apply to your business
The first step is to identify which rules apply to your operations. Your Legal Obligations looks at the two main sources of workplace road safety requirements: Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation, and Vehicle Licensing, Operation and Maintenance legislation.
Once you read the OHS section, you’ll see that for most employers the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation apply.
Vehicle Licensing, Operation and Maintenance legislation is a little more complicated. All drivers — whether driving for work, pleasure or any other purpose — and employers need to understand the Motor Vehicle Act and its Regulations. Depending on the types of vehicles and roads that are involved, some operators also need to comply with requirements described in other legislation, such as the Commercial Transport Act, the Passenger Transportation Act, the Industrial Roads Act and others.
Expand your knowledgeCheck out the free online course. It uses some of the materials on this website but goes into more detail using scenarios, videos and activities to make sure you have a practical understanding of key road safety responsibilities.
Know your responsibilities
Regulations tend to describe specific activities or conditions that must or must not occur, and results that must be accomplished. Before looking closely at compliance details, it is first helpful to understand the broader context in which they are written. These are usually described in the Acts.
The Workers Compensation Act describes occupational health and safety responsibilities for employers, supervisors and employees in their workplaces, including vehicles used for work. The Workplace Responsibility Summary explains those responsibilities from a road safety perspective.
Several other BC statutes, such as the Motor Vehicle Act, Commercial Transport Act, Passenger Transportation Act and their associated Regulations address the safety of drivers and all other road users – whether they are using the road for work, pleasure or another purpose.
These statutes describe requirements around driver licensing, insurance, weights and configurations, and how vehicles must be operated on BC roads. They assign responsibilities to owners, operators and drivers rather than to employers and employees. However, these requirements fully apply to work-related driving circumstances.
Determine what compliance looks like for your organizationUsing the knowledge you have gained so far, the next step is to translate requirements in those Acts, Regulations and rules into on-the-road action. To help with that, the Road Safety Compliance Guide identifies key sections of occupational health and safety legislation that specify requirements important to road safety. The Guide also points to Road Safety At Work tools and resources you can use to satisfy those requirements.
Resources for Employers and Supervisors
- Quiz for employers and supervisors
- Checklist for managing Grey Fleet driver safety
- Sample policy: Use of employee-owned vehicles for work
- Tailgate meeting guide: Use of employee-owned vehicles for work
- Myths and misunderstandings about work-related driving responsibilities
- Summaries of work-related driving responsibilities by role
- Workplace rights and responsibilities for drivers
- Road safety compliance guide
- Road Safety At Work Week infographic