It's Time to Act – to put a halt to road transport deaths and serious injury

Here we discuss the safety problems facing road transport organizations and the improvements that could be gained through implementing BS ISO 39001.

Road transport deaths and serious injuries are still rising1. As recently as this April, an organization was fined £75,000 after a 29-year-old worker died from multiple injuries when a stack of pallets fell onto him; in prosecution the HSE said that this was due to 'insufficient management controls'2. In March this year, an operator was fined £40,000 for causing the death of a 67 year old pedestrian due to a simple lack of designated crossing points and pedestrian segregation3. These and many other needless loss of lives continue despite the lessons learned from previous incidents and the health and safety controls put in place by transport organizations.

An effectively planned and regularly reviewed management system for safety risks in the workplace is needed to start to reduce the risk of such incidents happening again. Linking successful safety planning to the effective implementation of controls, training, checking and improvement is the key to reducing injury and death. A structured approach to the management of health and safety in the workplace, such as through using BS OHSAS 18001, has proven to be effective in reducing incidents4.

BS OHSAS 18001 has been used in the industry for well over a decade but the international standard for Road Traffic Safety Management Systems ISO 39001 is relatively new. ISO 39001 sets out the minimum requirements for a Road Traffic Safety Management System which is why governments, road authorities, safety groups and private companies were all keen to develop the standard. ISO 39001 can be used by any road user group as it provides guidance to help you design your own road traffic safety framework. Download the BSI client manual for BS ISO 39001.

Many road transport organizations already use BS OHSAS 18001 so linking this with ISO 39001 would allow your organization to focus health and safety processes and controls into one business focused management system. Whether you use BS OHSAS 18001 or not, an effectively implemented management system using ISO 39001 will strengthen the effective management of safety risks within the transport industry and take us on our journey towards preventing serious injury and needless deaths.

The Mark Group have a fleet of well over 1,100 vehicles and Kevin Cook the group’s Health and Safety Director says that "any company committed to improving its road safety will benefit from the introduction of ISO 39001, but so will every other road user as the approach will make our roads safer for all who use them." Download the Fleet News magazine article for more information.

2011 saw 30,300 road deaths within the European Union with 1,960 road deaths in the UK alone5. It's time to act and stop the needless loss of life and reduce the number of serious injuries sustained by workers, road users, pedestrians and others through the effective management of transport and road safety.

Find out more about the standard and certification for BS ISO 39001