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Wirral Council runs duty of care mock trial to highlight importance of MORR

Presented by Wirral Council’s Road Safety Team in conjunction with a specialist driver safety consultancy and risk management firm, Merseyside Police and VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency), the event was run to remind company bosses of their responsibilities and duty of care to employees who drive as part of their work. 

The mock trial was based on a not-uncommon scenario where a firm's sales manager is driving to visit a client and takes a stressful phone call from her boss whilst driving. The distracted driver is then involved in a serious collision that results in death and serious injuries to occupants in another car.  

The subsequent police enquiry into the business highlights a number of areas where the company appears not to have fulfilled its duty of care obligations and the Crown Prosecution Service decides there is enough evidence to prosecute. 

The failings highlighted by the police, known as aggravating factors, are then used against the company in court making the situation far worse for the employer, and the penalties more severe. 

Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Wirral Council’s Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “The potential for employers who have staff driving on their behalf for business to fall foul of their obligations under health and safety at work law is significant. The idea behind the trial scenario was to show what the employer could go through following a serious accident. It highlighted how the police investigate the company, its policies and its working practices, and it showed what level of punishment the company could expect to receive if found guilty.” 

The trial formed part of a wider day-long conference about road safety for people who drive for business and gave employers the opportunity to discuss issues and concerns they have with experts in a confidential setting.  

Wirral Council’s Road Safety Team will also be holding a ‘Drink, Drugs and the Workplace’ Workshop for Wirral managers in conjunction with Merseyside Police. To register your interest in attending this free event, please email [email protected]

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.