According to the Road Safety Authority, Road traffic collisions are a leading cause of work-related deaths. Collision data from Ireland across 2014-2020 indicate that 11% of road user fatalities were work-related. Driving for work includes any person who is driving on the road as part of their work, either in: A vehicle provided by their Employer, their own vehicle and receives an allowance or payment from their Employer for any distances driven.

Is Commuting to work classified as driving for work?

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

In the case of journeys taken in a vehicle (van, jeep, truck or fleet car) provided by an Employer, an Employer has a duty of care to ensure the safety of Employees using the vehicle. Employers should have appropriate policies and procedures in place to ensure safety when Employees drive a work-provided vehicle or drive their own vehicle for work.

Driving for work involves a risk not only for Employee’s, but also for fellow Workers and members of the public, such as pedestrians and other road users. Every Employer or self-employed person, must, by law, manage the risks that may arise when one of their Employees drive for work. Employers should have systems in place to ensure that Driving for Work activities are road safety compliant. Employers cannot directly control roadway conditions, but they can promote and influence safe driving behaviour and actions by their Employees.

Why should Employers be concerned with driving for work safety?

While drivers are responsible for how they drive, an Employer has duties in helping to make driving for work safer.

A number of pieces of legislation influence driving for work in Ireland:

  1. Road Traffic Laws: the Road Traffic Act 1961 influences driving on public roads in Ireland.
  2. Health & Safety Laws: The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and associated regulations influence driving for work in Ireland.

Other legislation may apply, such as:

  • Working Time directive for Mobile Transport Activities, 2005
  • Tachograph Regulations, 2006 (HGV or Busses)
  • Dangerous Goods Transport by Road, 2011
  • Construction Regulations, 2013

An Employer should be aware that directors may be prosecuted for a work-related road collision if it is proven they have not managed safety properly, or reduced the risks of driving for work to a level as low as reasonably practicable.

What are employer obligations regarding driving for work?

Duty of care—An Employer must take measures to assure that work-related journeys are safe, members of staff are able to drive safely, and all vehicles and associated equipment are fit for use. An Employer should also be aware of their duty towards the safety of other road users and pedestrians affected by their drivers.

Safe systems of work—An Employer must put in place proper systems of work such as documented safe systems of work for securing vehicle loads. They must have a safety statement that identifies all possible hazards, assesses risks to their Employees, and provides adequate controls to minimise risk.

Information, instruction, and training – An Employer is required to give their Employees proper information and training to protect their safety, health, and welfare.

EU Rules on Driving say that an Employer must:
Not expect Employees to drive under conditions that are unsafe; this means drivers must obey the rules on driving time, breaks and rest periods and that their vehicles should be roadworthy and fit for use.

Never apply pressure for a driver to complete a journey in a shorter amount of time than is needed or to use a vehicle that is not roadworthy.

Not enter into contracts with schedules or quotas that could endanger their drivers or other road users.

If your employees drive for work, or you have any questions or concerns about Health and Safety Regulations and how they might impact your business please contact our experts in Adare Human Resource Management on 01 561 3594 / 061 363 805 or email