Vehicles and Driving at / for Work
This section contains key information, advice and support for managers and staff to assist them in their roles and responsibilities related to work related driving processes.
Please refer to the tabs below to find specific information in place within your Board.
National Services Scotland
Driving is a work task carried out by many workers. Vehicles can be used on work sites and on public roads for work. As so many of us drive in our home and leisure time, we tend not to consider the risks in a work context.
In many workplaces, driving is considered a secondary activity. However, if NSS staff use vehicles to drive to a place where they will carry out their job, then the driving task is a work activity using work equipment. For many, driving is the most dangerous element of their working day.
As an employer it is important that NSS and Line Managers understand their responsibilities and take steps to keep your workers and members of the public safe.
To help NSS staff understand the risks and their responsibilities, please see the NSS Work Related Driving Risk Procedure which covers the types of vehicles and driving activities carried out across NSS.
If you require additional information you can contact the NSS Health & Safety Advisors through HR Connect Contact Us / Health and Safety
NHS 24 is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of it's staff whilst driving in connection with work. In order to do this, we have developed a Management of Road Risk Policy.
All NHS 24 staff (including agency) who intend to use their personal vehicle when travelling on NHS 24 business require to complete the below 'Annual Driver Deceleration' prior to travel.
Public Health Scotland
Scottish Ambulance Service
- Whats included in a Driving Risk Assessment?
Many different types of vehicle are used across NSS and it is important that staff and Line Mangers are aware of the risks they cause and take steps to manage these. The best way to find out about the risks in your organisation, and how to address these, is by discussing issues with your staff and carrying out a risk assessment and ensuring that this information is added to the SBU Risk Profile document.
Your risk assessment for vehicles at work should consider
- the driver
- the vehicle
- the journey, route or the job the vehicle is used for.
The risk assessment process will help NSS identify how best to control these and other identified risks on our sites.
- What information will I find in the NSS Work Related Driving Risk Procedure?
The NSS Work Related Driving Risk Procedure clearly states how you will ensure safe operations at all times, this may include clarifying
- how NSS organisation uses vehicles onsite and on the public road
- the risk of driving activities
- responsibilities to maintain vehicles in a roadworthy condition (including responsibilities of workers using their own vehicles)
- that vehicles over three years old must have a valid MOT certificate
- that staff must inform their line manager of anything that may affect their ability to drive safely such as penalty points, or changes in personal circumstances such as use of prescription medication or health issues
- that drivers must report any vehicle defects, and never drive defective vehicles
- what actions to take in an emergency situation
- that workers should check with a doctor or pharmacist if their prescription drugs will adversely affect their ability to drive
- the need for regular eye tests, and any necessary corrective eyewear is worn
- what qualifies as safe driving times between breaks
- that fatigue is more of a problem at certain times of day and when nearing the end of a long journey, there is an increased likelihood of falling asleep in the afternoon and in the early hours of the morning
- that drivers should plan ahead and consider potential hazards on their intended route such as schools
- the NSS position is on use of mobile phones.
- Are there limits to how many hours I can drive?
Driving hours of goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and some passenger vehicles are regulated by European Community rules. These set limits on driver's hours
- daily driving limit: 9 hours*
- maximum driving limit: 4 ½ hours
- daily rest period: 11 hours
- weekly driving limit: 56 hours
- fortnightly driving limit: 90 hours
- weekly rest period: 45 consecutive hours.*
*The rules on drivers' hours and tachographs for passenger carrying vehicles and goods vehicles differ. The Department for Transport provides advice for drivers and operators of passenger vehicles on all aspects of drivers' hours rules in the UK and Europe.
- Can I use my mobile phone while driving?
It is a criminal offence to drive, or to "cause or permit" someone else to drive, while using a hand-held mobile phone or similar device. NSS and Line Managers should consider this when they provide mobile phones and expect staff to answer when driving. Driving includes times when stopped at traffic lights or during other hold-ups that may occur during a journey when a vehicle can be expected to move off after a short while.
Many drivers use hands-free phones but they could still risk prosecution. For example, in an accident, a prosecution for careless or dangerous driving may be justified if a phone was in use at the time of the crash.
Information within the NSS Work Related Driving Risk Procedure states that does not allow the use of hand held (and ideally hands free) phones whilst driving and makes it clear that calls received
- What does the Highways Agency recommend for winter driving?
Advice from the Highways Agency can be accessed through the Highways Agency Guide.
- What does the Scottish Government recommend for safe winter driving?
Please refer to the Scottish Government Winter Maintenance guide for more information.