New Legislation brings Tyre Safety to the Boardroom
posted on 7 September 2008
Tyres are missed off the company health and safety agenda. However, thanks to new legislation, this can no longer be the case as organisations, not just their individuals, can be charged for failures in systems and processes.
Defective and badly worn tyres on company vehicles could lead to prosecution under The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, which came into force at the beginning of April this year.
The legislation states that employers have a duty of care to ensure the safety of employees whilst driving for work purposes. This means that businesses will not only be held responsible for the safety of their own fleet but also the private vehicles used for travel on company business. It is now necessary for a business to show an audit trail indicating that regular vehicle condition checks are carried out and documented.
Research from TyreSafe (www.tyresafe.org) indicates the need for greater attention to tyre conditions particularly in light of the new legislation. According to the leading tyre safety organisation, 12 per cent of cars and vans on the road have at least one defective tyre and a further 12 per cent have a tyre with tread below 2mm.
TyreSafe (www.tyresafe.org) offers the following tips for employers to ensure all tyres on their vehicles are safe:
- Check and adjust tyre pressure where necessary including the spare to the level recommended in the manufacturers handbook
- Clean dirt from around the valves and fit dust caps to all tyres
- Remove any stones and other foreign objects from the tread
- Ensure tread of each tyre is above the legal minimum of 1.6mm across three quarters of the width of the tyres (although Tyre Safe do recommend replacing tyres when the tread is below 3mm)
- Check for un-even tyre wear which could be an indication of steering misalignment or out-of-balance wheels
- Check all tyres for cuts and bulges which could render the tyre defective and potentially dangerous.
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