|1||Initial launch||July 2007|
|1.4||Minor text addition to 4.5||Sept 2010|
|1.5||Use of mobile phones in 4.1.10||April 2011|
|1.6||Changes to Appendix 2 (sec 3)||Oct 2011|
|1.7||Minor edit to 4.1.8||Jan 2013|
|1.8||Amendments to audit checklist||May 2013|
|1.9||Add Document retention policy Appendix||December 2014|
|1.10||Amendments to job titles||February 2015|
|1.11||Minor amendment to Scope and section 4.1||March 2015|
|1.12||Minor addition to Scope||April 2015|
|1.13||Added Personal Travel Safety training||June 2015|
|1.14||Minor changes to Appendices 1 and 2||June 2015|
|1.15||Minor changes to reference new information on the STFC staff intranet||March 2017|
|1.16||Addition of para 4.1.6 ||May 2017|
|1.17||Minor change to para 4.1.8||Jan 2018|
|1.18||Minor change to para 4.1.2||Aug 2018|
|1.19||Minor changes to reflect the launch of SHE Assure||October 2018|
|1.20||Minor change to para 4.1.10||January 2019|
|1.21||Changes to 4.1.1 and 4.1.4 plus some rationalisation of Section 4||April 2019|
|1.22||Further minor change to 4.1.1||November 2019|
The nature of the work undertaken by the STFC necessitates that some employees travel extensively in the course of their employment. Travel, particularly by car, is the major cause of work related fatalities in the UK (Driving at work). Travel on Council business is therefore a significant safety hazard for staff in the course of their work.
The STFC has a 'duty of care' responsibility under the 'Health and Safety at Work etc Act, 1974', to "take care of the health, safety and welfare of all its staff". This responsibility extends beyond work at STFC sites and includes instances where staff travel on Council business or conduct work at non STFC sites in the UK and overseas. The STFC expects staff to demonstrate an equivalent commitment to take reasonable care of their health and safety while travelling, and driving, on Council business. The nature of travel arrangements, especially by car, necessitates that flexibility and pragmatic judgement is applied to ensure traveller safety.
This code sets out the controls and policies adopted by the STFC to minimise the likelihood of injuries or ill health arising from travel on Council business, separately CEMs and Travel/Driving policies outline non safety aspects of travel management.
This code addresses all aspects of travel on STFC business to meet suppliers; install equipment; attend conferences and training events; visit other laboratories; travel between STFC sites for example between RAL and DL; and travel to and between overseas destinations. In particular this code addresses travel by car and other vehicles, especially when driving for extended distances or periods of time when risks are significantly increased.
This code does not address the:
- health and safety of staff undertaking work at a non STFC site, such issues should be considered using the STFC's standard risk assessment code, see STFC SHE Code 6, 'Risk Management'.
- routine travel by staff between their home and normal place of work. It does apply where the STFC requires staff to attend work outside of their normal working hours, for example, staff on call. Where staff are on long term secondment or attachment to non STFC laboratories the normal place of work shall be the non STFC laboratory to which they are seconded;
- use of fork lift trucks or electrically powered vehicles, see SHE Code 4 'Safety and safe use of Work Equipment;
- travel arrangements for facility users, visitors to STFC sites or tenants on STFC sites; and
- Activities of professional drivers whose activities should be considered in more detail through general risk assessment for their role, see STFC SHE Code 6 'Risk Management'.
Although this code makes reference to insurance, it is important to note that in most circumstances insurance is not a safety issue but a financial issue (i.e. insurance does not prevent accidents from happening; however it ought to help with the financial consequences). An exception to this is that in certain countries, for example the USA, a person without insurance may not be able to access medical treatment
Please read this SHE Code in conjunction with the information on insurance on the STFC staff intranet
3.1 Professional Drivers
Professional drivers – those employed by the STFC whose primary role is the use of cars and/or other vehicles to transport people and/or goods.
4.1 Employees shall:
4.1.1 Consider whether their journey is necessary - can the objectives of the visit be achieved through other means e.g. telephone call, conference call or video conference.
- Where practicable consider travel by rail and plane in preference to driving. Template risk assessments, for driving and overseas travel, are presented in Appendix 1 and describe STFC travel controls and policies which should be understood and followed. Where any proposed travel plans are encompassed by the template risk assessments for driving and overseas travel no further documented risk assessment is necessary.
Only where proposed travel plans and their hazards are not addressed by controls and policies presented in Appendix 1 should individuals inform their line manager and conduct a documented risk assessment based on the appropriate template provided. Advice considering travel risks can be obtained from local safety and occupational health advisors. The Risk Assessment process is described in SHE Code 6 “Risk Management”.
Motorcycle and bicycle use for business travel is not recommended for long journeys. A specific risk assessment must be carried out and approved by the line manager before using a motorcycle or bicycle for any business travel.
4.1.2 Ensure that they record and inform their line manager of travel itineraries and contact details when travelling, especially for overseas travel, for example through their Outlook Calendar.
Inform their line manager where an incident, for example natural disaster or terrorist related, occurs local to them to provide assurance of their safety and plans as soon as is practicable.
4.1.3 Inform their line manager, HR and Occupational Health teams if they are aware of any medical condition or take medication that may adversely affect their ability to drive, the length of time they can drive, their ability to visit or work at high altitude or their suitability to travel on Council business in the UK or overseas. Where travel includes visiting or working at high altitude staff shall undertake a high altitude medical prior to travel, see Appendix 2.
4.1.4 As appropriate consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) web site and FCO Facebook page or the travel risk maps for
road safety for the country(s) being visited for advice and guidance in assessing and planning for the risks of travel to a particular country, following the FCO travel, security and health recommendations for a particular destination, and allow sufficient time to enable the effective implementation of prophylactic/preventative drugs, immunisations or medical treatments by local Occupational Health teams.
- Inform their line manager and Director where the FCO advises against "all travel" and "all but essential travel". Employees should not normally travel to any country where the FCO web site advises against all "travel" or "all but essential travel". If special circumstances require travel to such a country documented approval must be obtained in advance from the employee's Director, including an explanation of why the journey is required and a full risk assessment must be completed. Specific consideration should be given to ensuring regular contact with the individual is maintained throughout the visit and to obtaining insurance for such trips.
4.1.5 When travelling overseas ensure STFC medical insurance is in place.
4.1.6 Where travel in the UK or overseas involves working with ionising radiation, see SHE Code 29, Appendix 16 – Policy for staff working with ionising radiation off-site in the UK and abroad and as appropriate discussing your plans with your RPA
Specific requirements for employees driving on Council business:
4.1.7 Attend defensive driving training when considered a STFC high mileage driver, driving > 3000 business miles per annum, or when they believe they are likely to exceed ~3000 business miles per annum.
4.1.8 Following travel related health and safety incidents report the event at the earliest opportunity:
Be formally authorised by the STFC to drive a hire, lease
or your own car
to travel on Council business. STFC travel and car insurance
for hire or lease cars
is valid only where such authorisation exists, for example a 'Permit to Drive' or completion of a 'Driver questionnaire'. The relevant forms can be found on the Travel and Transport
section of the STFC staff intranet.
4.1.9 Be formally authorised by the STFC to drive a hire, lease
or your own car to travel on Council business. STFC travel and car insurance
for hire or lease cars is valid only where such authorisation exists, for example a 'Permit to Drive' or completion of a 'Driver questionnaire'. The relevant forms can be found on the Travel and Transport section of the STFC staff intranet.
Car insurance while not strictly a health and safety issue must be considered. When using private cars to travel on any Council business ensure it is insured for business use. In the event of an incident, the STFC will not accept liability for damage to employee's vehicles. Further guidance is available in on the Travel and Transport section of the STFC staff intranet
4.1.10 Car insurance while not strictly a health and safety issue must be considered. When using private cars to travel on any Council business ensure it is insured for business use. In the event of an incident, the STFC will not accept liability for damage to employee's vehicles..
4.1.11 Ensure that mobile phones, or mobile communication devices, hands free or otherwise are switched off when driving alone, using scheduled or other breaks to pick up and respond to messages.
4.1.12 Actively take steps to safeguard their own and others health and safety when driving. The unpredictability of driving conditions and road congestion makes establishing absolute guidelines for safe driving times difficult. Such guidelines must be implemented pragmatically and depend most critically on the driver's awareness and alertness for the driving and journey undertaken. These guidelines are presented in the template risk assessments, Appendix 1. The following guidelines, in particular for daily return journeys between Swindon, RAL and DL, should provide the basis of journey planning for drivers:
- Maximum driving period 2.5 hours, to be followed by a 15 minute break/stop out of the vehicle;
- Where business travel takes place at the end of a working day the total working day including business travel (and breaks) should not exceed 12 hours;
- The maximum continuous driving time, including breaks/stops, should not exceed 9 hours, or 400 miles, in one day; and
- Business driving and breaks must be included in consideration of total weekly working hours.
4.2 Line Managers shall:
4.2.1 Review the travel plans/risk assessments of their staff where necessary, and satisfy themselves of the health and safety of the proposed plans including medical insurance and protective health measures for travel overseas. Particular attention should be given to the travel plans of inexperienced travellers and lone travellers.
4.3 Directors shall:
4.3.1 Review, document and as appropriate approve all travel to Countries for which the FCO web site advises against "all travel" and "all but essential travel" citing all relevant information and sources where approval is given.
4.4 STFC Business Support Manager Shall:
4.4.1 Ensure that STFC staff hire cars from reputable companies that meet STFC's health, safety and environmental standards.
4.4.2 Annually review the car mileage travelled by STFC staff on Council business (hire car or personal car). Where such mileage exceeds 3000 miles/year, and that mileage is expected to continue invite staff to attend defensive driving training.
4.4.3 Maintain a register of STFC professional drivers ensuring they undertake 2 yearly health assessments until they reach the age of 50 and thereafter conduct health assessments annually.
4.4.4 Review annually the driving standards of STFC professional drivers.
4.5 Occupational Health Department shall:
4.5.1 Occupational Health service provision is available to all STFC staff but may vary in the manner it is delivered depending on location, from full time on-site provision through to contracted off-site services.
4.5.2 Provide travel health screening, high altitude medical examinations (see Appendix 2), verification of fitness to travel, and advice when requested by those travelling overseas and provide as appropriate inoculations/immunisations and other preventive health measures relevant to the travel destination as recommended by the Medical Advisory Services for Travellers Abroad, (MASTA).
4.5.3 Conduct 2 yearly health assessments for STFC professional drivers until they reach the age of 50 and thereafter conduct health assessments annually.
Further travel advice from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) :