Skip to content

Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd


Focus Archive

Managing Occupational Road Risk (MORR) as a Mainstream Health and Safety Issue

Roger Bibbings, Occupational Safety Adviser, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
January 2004

The problem

Research commissioned by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and others suggests that between 25% and 33% of fatal and serious road traffic incidents involve someone who was at work at the time. These figures include all categories of road users - drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists as well as pedestrians and those working at the side of the road, suggesting that annually between 10,000 to 13,000 people are killed or injured in at-work road incidents in Great Britain.

A mainstream H&S issue

Since 1996 RoSPA has continued to work to ensure that occupational road risk is addressed by employers and regulators as a mainstream health and safety at work issue. It has been following up the report and recommendations of the Government's independent Work Related Road Safety Task Group (Dykes Report) and has been continuing to organise events and to secure publicity to help raise awareness of the moral, social, legal, and business cases for action. It has also be emphasising the contribution which MORR can make to helping to achieve the target for road casualty reduction by 2010 set by the Government and to its impact in reducing the cost of road casualties to the National Health Service as well as the pain and suffering caused to victims and their relatives. RoSPA has welcomed the recently published joint HSE/DfT guidance, 'Driving at Work' ( stressing that MORR makes real economic sense for companies as road crashes cost time and money in terms of absent staff, lost production and damage to commercial reputation.

A risk management approach

RoSPA believes that all employers, large or small, private or public, should seek to develop a systematic approach to managing occupational road risk that is appropriate to their business, for example by:

They should commit themselves to achieving a cycle of continuous improvement in road safety performance, ensuring that this approach is underpinned by a proactive, positive road safety culture lead by all senior managers with full workforce consultation and participation.

A new alliance

Together with other key players', RoSPA has established the Occupational Road Safety Alliance (ORSA) which now includes some 66 members. The organisation made input to drafts of the HSE/DfT guidance which it is now working to publicise. RoSPA, which provides the secretariat for ORSA and hosts its website has recently been successful in securing £16,000 from the DfT 'Challenge Fund' to help develop the site.

Current activities

RoSPA has just published a complete revision of the RoSPA MORR guide first published in 1998 and is engaged in a major publicity drive to promote this. RoSPA continues to organise special MORR events and staff continue to make presentations to outside bodies. Work continues on a comparative review of international experience and a framework for evaluating efficacy of interventions such driver training. More recently a scientific meeting has been held bringing together researchers and experts in MORR to see if there is scope for establishing an MORR Research Forum.

Action by HSC/E

RoSPA will be continuing to press the Health and Safety Commission to:

Views and partnerships

RoSPA is anxious receive views on MORR issues and, wherever possible, to establish partnerships with others who can assist with specific projects. Enquiries should be addressed to John Howard, Director Safety Policy Division, RoSPA House, Edgbaston Park, 353, Bristol Road, Birmingham B5 7ST, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 121 248 2000 | Fax: +44 (0)121 248 2001 | Email: