Time for employers to lead charge in Road Safety

The safety concern of employees should never start and end at the front door. Likewise, the practices and sense of responsibility employees learn and undertake during their working day should never start or end there either. Unfortunately, as many of us know, this is not always the case.

This is especially true when it comes to driving for, to and from work. Commuting and driving for work can pose significant risks for employees, and other road users. Indeed, a total of 165 people sadly lost their lives on our national roads during 2015.

Everyone recognises the need for action, and change. The Road Safety Authority (RSA), An Garda Síochána, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and other organisations are doing valiant work to help prevent such accidents. But everyone needs to play their part to bring about real change.

Onus on Key Players

​With a workforce of over 7,000 staff, we recognise that we play a significant role in creating this action and change. ESB has a commercial fleet of more than 2,000 vehicles travelling 50 million kilometres per annum. Over 3,000 of our staff drive their own car on ESB business, with many others commuting daily.

But we want to go beyond just playing a role. We strive to be a national exemplar in road safety excellence through achieving zero-at-fault incidents and collisions by 2020.

So, how are we turning this vision into reality?

Some 12 years after establishing the ESB Road Safety Bureau, we have succeeded in reducing collisions, injuries and fatalities involving staff and the wider community.

In 2015 alone, we reduced overall collisions to the fleet to 116, a reduction of over 60% since 2003. In addition, ESB has reduced the rate of serious collisions and ESB Driver-at-Fault collisions over this time from 193 to 78, a reduction of just under 60%.

We actively encourage all our management and staff to be advocates of road safety practices for their work colleagues, their families and the wider community.

Learning from the Past

​As part of our road safety programmes – including the latest ESB Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020: Our Journey to Excellence – collision reporting and investigation procedures have been a prime focus. Such data and reporting helps the ESB Road Safety Bureau to develop our initiatives and guide our communications.

For drivers involved in a collision which has the potential for serious injury or fatality, post incident support training takes place. This involves risk assessment of the driver which may involve further development training before the driver is allowed to drive an ESB vehicle.

Advanced Driver training is ongoing since 2005 and over 3,000 ESB staff has so far successfully completed training and assessment.

As demonstrated, real change is possible from those that want to lead by example.

And now is the time for real change.