Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY23 006 – Domestic Drivers Hours Rules:
Introduction, Background and Description:
Royal Mail Group’s Safety Team have issued RMG SHE Safety Flash FY23 006 following recent visits to Royal Mail/Parcelforce Units having identified several instances where drivers’ hours are not being monitored. This has the potential to leave Royal Mail/Parcelforce and drivers in breach of Domestic Drivers Hours Rules.
In England, Scotland and Wales, these rules limit the daily amount of driving in a van to 10 hours per day, and drivers who drive vans for 4 hours or more in a day must not work for more than 11 hours in total. There are also requirements for rest periods. Similar limits apply in Northern Ireland.
The Domestic Drivers Hours procedure is in place to protect drivers and businesses, by identifying duties with the potential to breach rules and monitoring driving time to ensure that this does not happen.
- Fines for exceeding drivers’ hours rules range between £300 and £2400 per offence, and Royal Mail Group would face an investigation and may face enforcement action and prosecution for Operators Licence Offences by the Department of Transport, Traffic Commissioners.
- Exceeding drivers’ hours also risks drivers’ safety. The rules are in place to limit driver fatigue, which is one of the main causes of fatal collisions.
- ‘BRAKE’ the road safety charity state that tired drivers have slower reaction times and suffer from reduced attention, awareness, and ability to control their vehicles. Research suggests driving tired can be as dangerous as drink-driving. Fatigue is a major cause of road crashes in the UK and 10–20% of all crashes are estimated to be caused by driver fatigue.
- ‘RoSPA’ (The Royal Society For Prevention of Accidents) state that driver fatigue is a serious problem resulting in many thousands of road accidents each year. Research shows that driver fatigue may be a contributory factor in up to 20% of road accidents, and up to one quarter of fatal and serious accidents. These types of crashes are about 50% more likely to result in death or serious injury as they tend to be high speed impacts because a driver who has fallen asleep cannot brake or swerve to avoid or reduce the impact.
- HSE Guidelines, ‘Driving at Work’, state that “health and safety law applies to on-the-road work activities as to all work activities and the risks should be effectively managed within a health and safety system”. Therefore, employers must assess the risks involved in their staff’s use of the road for work and put in place all ‘reasonably practicable’ measures to manage those risks.
Key Messages, Learning Points and PiC/Managers Actions:
- PiCs/Managers must use the Domestic Drivers Hours procedure, ensuring that all duties have been assessed for compliance with drivers’ hours rules and that driving time is monitored where appropriate. Duties should be reassessed annually or where a change is made e.g., duty revisions.
- PiCs/Managers must check records to ensure that the above is in place and close any gaps.
- PiCs/Managers allocation of Scheduled Attendance or overtime to employees must take Domestic Drivers Hours rules into account.
- PiCs/Managers should ensure that drivers are made aware of Domestic Drivers Hours rules and must not exceed them.
- Drivers should raise any questions or concerns with their manager.
CWU ASR/WSR Action:
- WSRs/ASRs please ensure that this Safety Flash is communicated and brought to the attention of all appropriate members/drivers and that actions above are deployed by PiCs/Managers.
- ASRs to concentrate attention to this matter during Workplace Safety Inspections.
- Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY23 006 – Domestic Drivers Hours Rules.
- UK – GB Domestic Drivers’ Hours Rules.
- Royal Mail – British Domestic Driver Hours Monitoring in Delivery Offices.
- Royal Mail Power Point Presentation on GB Domestic Drivers Hours Rules.
- Royal Mail Drivers Hours Monitoring Sheet (Excel).
- Royal Mail Delivery Average Call Rate & MPH Driving Time Certificate (Excel).
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
LTB 061/23 – Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY23 006 – Domestic Drivers Hours Rules
Att: SHE Flash FY23 006 – Domestic Drivers Hours
Att: GB Domestic Drivers’ Hours Rules
Att: Driver Hours Process v3.1
Att: Driver Hours – Comms Pack v5.1
Att: Driving Hours Monitor 2020 – To Be Completed
Att: Average Call Rate Driving Time_Master (1) (1)
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