Safety Manual. Revised Edition 2010

Revised Edition 2010

Road Safety

1.11 Road Safety.

1. Introduction

Accidents at work related to driving are increasingly more frequent. They also constitute a major part of accidents resulting in death or permanent invalidity. The disproportionate role of inappropriate, excessive speed as hazardous conduct is reflected both in the high accident rate and in violations of speed limits Despite the figures, speed continues to be highly tolerated by society and enjoys a good image among drivers. Many drivers boast about their ability to cover a particular run in record time and drive as if they were racing drivers on a circuit.

2. Principal causes of accidents

  • Driving in an unsuitable physical condition.
  • Not respecting road signs.
  • Not respecting speed limits.
  • Not adapting the speed to weather and visibility conditions.
  • Driving a vehicle in a state of disrepair.
  • Not keeping a safe distance.
  • Using a mobile phone while driving.
  • Not taking adequate periods of rest or breaks.
  • Not using reflective clothing when working in areas where vehicles are circulating.
  • Not adequately cordoning off working areas from areas where vehicles are circulating.

3. Preventative Measures

  • Before sitting behind the wheel, we must ensure that the driver is in a suitable state to drive. Factors such as tiredness may produce somnolence. Moreover, if the driver is under medication, it is necessary to check that there are no contraindications with respect to driving.
  • Any person who has imbibed alcoholic drinks or taken drugs must not be allowed to drive.
  • The way of driving must adapt to the type of vehicle.
  • All the occupants of the vehicle must use a safety belt. This has to be worn at all times, regardless of the type of road or the distance to cover.
  • Road regulations and the corresponding road signs must be respected at all times, taking especial precaution at crossroads, changes in gradients, hazardous bends and when circulating inside company facilities or a work site.
  • Speed limits must be respected at all times for all types of road, adapting the speed to the state of the road and weather conditions.
  • The state of repair of the vehicle must be checked, periodically checking liquid levels, the state of the tyres, brakes, suspension, lights and windscreen wipers.
  • The vehicle must carry the necessary documentation, spare wheels and lights, as well as breakdown triangles and reflective jackets. It is also advisable to have a first-aid kit and an fire extinguisher.
  • It is very important to maintain the safety distance when circulating behind another vehicle. Overtaking is only to be carried out when permitted and when totally safe.
  • Using a mobile phone when driving is forbidden, unless the vehicle is equipped with an approved hands-free system.
  • When transporting loads, the vehicle must have a physical separation between the load area and the cab for people. Loads are to be positioned distributing weights and avoiding overloading.
  • When travelling long distances, the driver must rest every two hours or after 150-200 km, consuming soft drinks and not eating a heavy meal.
  • No kind of objects should be thrown out of the window. Throwing cigarette butts out of the window is penalised in the new road regulations in Spain.
  • Reflective clothing must be worn when working in areas where vehicles are circulating so as to be clearly visible.
  • As far as possible, the areas where vehicles are circulating must be demarcated from pedestrian areas by means of barriers or appropriate signposting.
  • Work materials and equipment must be placed in appropriate areas in such a way as to not obstruct the transit of vehicles in the area.

4. Practical Recommendations for Safe Driving

1. Rest sufficiently before driving.
2. Always fasten your safety belt.
3. Keep a safe distance and respect speed limits.
4. Try to take a rest from driving every two hours.
5. Do not use a mobile phone; use some kind of authorised “hands-free” system.
6. Do not consume alcoholic drinks. If you should do so, remember that the effect of alcohol does not wear off for three hours.
7. If you are taking medicine of any kind, check that it does not have an effect on driving.
8. Take extra special care when driving under adverse weather conditions (rain, snow, wind, etc.).

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