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#1 Posted : 18 July 2000 11:46:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By John Webster
Drivers making frequent stops to deliver goods or pick up and put down passengers are not, under Road Traffic Act regulations, required to wear seat belts. The dispensation has various "strings", but generally applies to local delivery drivers, taxi drivers and, in our case, minibus drivers taking elderly patients to and from the day care centre.

However, a road traffic accident is a forseeable risk, with significant risk of death or injury to the driver. Under the HSWA as an employer we must control that risk by various means, which, because of their proven benefit, will include the provision of seat belts or air bags. As all the vehicles will be fitted with seat belts as standard, the conclusion must be that unless the vehicle is also fitted with a driver's air bag (properly maintained etc) seat belt wearing must be compulsory.

As with other PPE, inconvenience is not a good enough reason to not use them.

As all the exemptions, other than those on medical grounds, apply to work situations, is the law an ass, and am I right in believing that I should insist on drivers wearing seatbelts despite protests of exemption?
#2 Posted : 18 July 2000 19:19:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Ken Taylor
I think it would be better to 'get it through' as a condition of service or rule of the job rather than relying on the letter of an uncertain law. It's the employer's time that is being expended in putting on and taking off the belts and if they are happy to accept this for the safety of their employees, so much the better.
#3 Posted : 24 July 2000 10:38:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Stuart Nagle
Hi, John.

It was my belief that this particular piece of transport ruling was intended for drivers who are frequently required to get in and out of their vehicles, such as public services for milk, refuse, gully cleansing ect ect...

I would suggest that transport operations involving the picking up and setting down of passengers is not specifically covered, as in most cases taxi drivers and bus drivers do not leave the vehicle at such freqency, say as a gully cleansing operative or milkman.

In the case of transporting persons by mini-bus, whether elderly or not, the distance travelled is of a higher nature I would argue than the rule was intended to cover. hence when travelling even short distances or say one or three miles or less, seat belts should be worn by all drivers engaged in the duty.

best regards...

Stuart Nagle
#4 Posted : 27 July 2000 11:29:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By John Webster
Thanks for your input, Ken & Stuart. The local Police seem to take a fairly relaxed interpretation when it comes to enforcement, but from a H&S standpoint we will need to be much tighter.
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