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Driving at work safety policy

This policy describes the University's health and safety arrangements for ensuring occupational road risks are managed in accordance with legal standards.


Information not provided
Approval date
01 Jun 2017
Approved by
University Health and Safety Committee
Date of last review
07 Jun 2022
Date of next review
18 Jun 2024


This policy applies to the driving of any type of vehicle and applies to all staff that drive on University business. This will include:

  • employees who are required to drive vehicles as an integral part of their work (for example, Technical and Maintenance and Security Services staff), or

  • employees who drive either University vehicles, or their own vehicle or hired vehicles on a casual basis as part of their work or to carry out some aspect of the University’s business (such as staff attending meetings, conferences or events, or travelling to off-site destinations for research or fieldwork or any other University business). This includes any work-related driving activities that may take place overseas

Commuting journeys between an employee’s home address or place of residence and their contractual place of work fall outside of the scope of this policy.

Risks associated with the carrying of certain loads, hazardous substances, lifting operations or similar activities are covered under separate health and safety policy, standards and guidance.

This policy will apply to students if they are asked to drive on University business or who drive as part of a University managed or organised activity, such as Formula Student. Driving activities by students for or on behalf of the Students' Union (for example, driving minibuses as part of a club or society activity) fall under the control of the Students' Union and as such are excluded from the requirements of this policy.


Any driving activity that is undertaken for or on behalf of the University by an employee or student. This definition excludes an employee’s normal daily commute between their home and their normal contractual place of work.

Occupational driver

Any employee or student that carries out work-related driving for, or on behalf of, the University in a University vehicle.

University vehicle

Any vehicle that is owned, leased or hired by the University.

Private vehicle

Any vehicle used by an employee or student for University business which is not owned, leased or hired by the University.


A vehicle that can carry between 9-16 passengers (inclusive) at any one time in addition to the driver.

Policy statement

The University of Bath will manage, so far as is reasonably practicable, the risks associated with work-related driving activities falling under its control in such a way as to reduce the risks to drivers and other people potentially affected by work-related driving activities to a tolerable level.

The University will achieve this policy by:

  • Considering whether travel is required at all (e.g. by use of technologies or other means to reduce the need for travel).

  • Where travel is required, promoting the use of the most Carbon efficient form of travel, where this is practical

  • assessing significant risks associated with work-related driving activities and implementing control measures to reduce these risks to a tolerable level.

  • only allowing people who can physically demonstrate that they possess the necessary valid licences or qualifications to drive University owned or leased vehicles.

  • supporting people who drive their own vehicles to do so legally by the provision and signposting of relevant advice and guidance.

  • managing University owned and leased vehicles to ensure that these are kept in an efficient and effective working condition in accordance with any statutory requirements. Where vehicles fail to meet this standard they will be taken out of use until such times as any defects are remedied.

  • prohibit the use of hand-held mobile phones by occupational drivers when they are carrying out work-related driving activities.

  • discourage the use of hands-free communication devices whilst occupational drivers when carrying out work-related driving.

  • providing advice and guidance to drivers to meet the legal responsibilities placed on them by relevant legislation.

  • managing University owned roads and car parks to reduce the risks to drivers, other road users and pedestrians to a tolerable level.



The Vice-Chancellor (VC) has the overall day to day responsibility for health and safety matters at the University. The VC delegates responsibility for undertaking aspects of these duties through line management and identified roles. The following people are identified as having responsibilities (in addition to any other responsibilities under other health and safety policy) for the management of work-related driving risks in those areas, and for those relevant persons, that fall under their control:

Line Managers

Line Managers (including members of Executive Committee, Heads of Department and Directors in their line management roles) will be responsible, so far as is reasonably practicable, for:

  • Promoting alternatives to business related travel where this is viable.

  • Promoting the use of public transport the most Carbon efficient mode of travel, where practical, for work-related travel.

  • Implementing University systems to assure that:

    • occupational drivers hold the necessary licences, training and qualifications to drive University owned or leased vehicles. Where an occupational driver discloses that their licence has been revoked, suspended or withdrawn for any reason or discloses that they are not medically fit to drive then they must be relieved of their work-related driving duties until further advice has been sought from the University’s Human Resources Department
    • University owned or leased vehicles managed by specific departments are maintained in a roadworthy condition that complies with relevant statutory requirements. Where vehicles are found or are suspected of not meeting the statutory road-worthiness requirements then these are taken out of use until such times as any defects can be remedied
    • ensuring that risk assessments of significant work-related driving risks are carried out and identified control measures are implemented. This could include promoting the use of alternative forms of transport, providing occupational drivers with any necessary training, supervision and equipment, including personal protective equipment, in order to reduce significant risks to a tolerable level
    • work-related driving risk assessments are monitored and updated as necessary
    • ensuring that the University’s Insurance Manager is notified, in advance, of any proposals to purchase or hire of new vehicles

Employees and students

Employees and students (including any designated 'occupational drivers') who carry out work-related driving activities are responsible for ensuring that they:

  • Comply with the local risk assessment and systems relating to work-related driving activities.

  • Comply with the University’s travel and expenses policy by using the most Carbon efficient means of transport (where it is practical to do so) in preference to using their own vehicle or university owned or leased vehicle when travelling on University business.

  • are medically fit to drive (both generally, and at the time when driving) and meet the vision standards required to drive (or have and use the appropriate corrective appliances)

  • hold the appropriate licence, training or other qualification for the vehicle that they will be required to drive

  • have a valid Ministry of Transport (MOT) certificate, where applicable, and the necessary 'business use' insurance if they are using a non-University owned or leased vehicle for University business. It is recommended that people using their own vehicles still carry out and record user checks of their vehicle in advance of their journey as is required for use of University owned or managed fleet.

  • comply with any statutory requirements placed on them by road safety or other legislation including the wearing of seatbelts, not using hand-held mobile phones whilst driving and not smoking in University vehicles

  • report any accidents or incidents that they are involved in when driving on University business

Occupational drivers are additionally responsible for ensuring that they:

  • provide the University with their driving licence details (or access to the appropriate DVLA resources) so that these can be checked periodically

  • bring to the immediate attention of their line manager any information on disqualifications or convictions for driving offences or any suspension or revocation of their licence, for example due to a health condition that legally prevents them from driving on a public highway

  • carry out appropriate user checks of University vehicles prior to driving on University business

  • inform their line manager of any vehicular faults that they identify as a result of the user checks that they are required to carry out before the start of the journey. If as a result of any user-checks the driver considers that a vehicle is unsafe then it must not be driven on University business until checked by a suitably competent person.

Employees and Students who drive vehicles, or who cycle, on University owned or managed property are required to:

  • observe all road traffic signs and to comply with all relevant driving instructions (e.g. speed limits) whilst driving on University property

  • Observe any local rules on where vehicles, including cycles and other modes of transport, are used on campus. Currently, with the exception of approved vehicles, driving and cycling is not permitted on parade or on the pathway adjacent to the South side of the University lake.

  • report any accidents or incidents they are involved in when using a vehicle on University owned or managed property

Director of Campus infrastructure

The Director of Campus Infrastructure is responsible for ensuring that an appropriate system is in place to coordinate the management of University Vehicles and Occupational Drivers in accordance with the requirements of this policy.

Head of Security/Director of Campus Infrastructure are responsible, in addition to any other duties described in this policy, for ensuring that a suitable and sufficient risk assessment is made of the significant risks associated with campus roads, pavements and carparks and that:

  • appropriate control measures are identified and implemented to reduce risks to a tolerable level

  • arrangements for securing health and safety in relation to these areas are communicated as appropriate to other members of the campus community

This requirement will include the risk assessment of routine operational risks and also foreseeable ad hoc risks such as managing risks associated with winter weather, occasional movement and operation of large or tall vehicles on and around campus and the management of events where additional car parking or increased vehicular and/or pedestrian movements are foreseeable.


University Health and Safety Committee will be responsible for monitoring and reviewing this policy. Reviews will normally be carried out every two years from the date of approval.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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