What’s considered “driving for work” and is it a workplace safety issue?

The Health and Safety Authority define driving for work to include any person who drives on a road as part of their work either in:

A company vehicle;
or their own vehicle and receive an allowance from their employer for miles driven.

Commuting to work is not classified as driving for work, except where the person’s journey starts from their home and they are travelling to a work location that is not their normal place of work.

Because of the potential risk to the driver, other road users and others if vehicles are not driven safely, the Health and Safety Authority and the Road safety Authority have collaborated to produce this guidance on “Safe Driving for Work”.

What are the other main safety points I need to consider before driving for work?

Before driving for work, you need to assess:

  1. Is the journey necessary?
  2. Am I fully competent to make the journey?
  3. Is the vehicle I’m driving in proper order, passed its NCT and fully insured?
  4. Have I completed a pre-travel check of my vehicle using this RSA Checklist?
  5. What are the likely road conditions and weather forecast, and do I need to adjust my driving to take these into account?
  6. How long will I be driving for?
  7. Did I get sufficient sleep last night?
  8. Do I have enough time to complete the journey in a safe manner?

What are the requirements you must always follow when driving?

  • Ensure that your vehicle is serviced regularly so that it is road worthy. Regularly check your vehicle's oil, water and fuel levels and for any defects such as faulty lights or worn tyres.
  • It is your responsibility to NEVER drink and drive or to drive under the influence of drugs or medication.
  • Always ensure that you’ve had at least to seven to eight hours sleep.
  • ALWAYS wear a seat belt and ensure they are being worn by all occupants in the vehicle.
  • Allow sufficient time for your journey.
  • Always keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
  • Adhere to the speed limits at all times and slow down when necessary.
  • Be observant and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists on the road, especially at night.
  • Ensure you take adequate breaks when driving long distances.
  • Comply with all rules of the road.

Is there a vehicle safety assessment form?

To help Units who do have workplace vehicles in use for their employees, this RSA checklist is useful to assess the vehicle(s) and thereby assisting in reducing the risk of road traffic accidents. 

What about using a Mobile Phone while driving?

The Road Safety Authority has published a short guide on the use of mobile phones while driving. The guide, Mobile Phones and Driving, points out that it is illegal to hold a mobile phone in your hand while driving. The only time you can use a mobile when driving is to dial 112 (999). The guide advises against the use of hands free kit system when driving, as they will distract the driver. If you must use your mobile phone, the guide states that you should stop your car. If you are caught using a mobile phone while driving, you will be liable to penalty points and a fine.  The guide and updates are available on RSA.ie

Is there other guidance?

University of Galway Safety Statement