As previously discussed, the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came into force last month. The tyre safety organization Tyresafe has issued a warning that this has serious implications for employers throughout the country.
According to the Act employers have a “Duty of Care” to ensure the safety of any employees driving for work. This will apply to all fleet cars, and to any cars used by employees traveling on company business. In the future, companies must be able to show an audit trail showing that all vehicles used on company business have undergone regular maintenance checks. This should include checks on tyre condition.
Tyresafe’s research has revealed that 12 per cent of cars and vans in the UK have at least one defective tyre, and that a further 12 per cent have a tyre with a tread below 2mm.
Tyresafe have issued the following guidelines to employers in order to reduce the risk of prosecution.
Check and adjust, if necessary, the tyre pressure in each tyre including the spare, as recommended in the manufacturer’s handbook;
Clean dirt from around valves and fit dust caps to all tyres;
Remove stones and other foreign objects from the tread;
Check that tyres have at least 1.6mm of tread across three quarters of the width of the tyre. TyreSafe recommends that motorists consider changing tyres when the tread falls below 3mm;
Check for un-even tyre wear which might mean steering misalignment or out-of-balance wheels; and
Check tyres for cuts and bulges that could render the tyre defective and potentially dangerous.
Commenting on the new legislation, TyreSafe stated: “Tyres are often forgotten about, and therefore the new legislation is a wake-up call for all those who do not take enough care for the condition of their tyres. Now that there is someone watching over drivers, we hope that the rate of defective tyres will be significantly reduced as people realise the huge importance that tyres play in vehicle safety.”