MP in call for probe into work deaths on roads

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SHEFFIELD MP Meg Munn has called for the Health and Safety Executive to be made responsible for investigating work-related deaths on the roads during a debate in Parliament.

The Labour MP for Heeley made the suggestion after discovering around two in three work-related deaths occur on the roads, yet the HSE is not responsible for investigating road deaths, as it is for fatalities that occur in other work places.

Department for Transport figures for 2010 show over 550 fatalities were due to work-related road traffic accidents – three times as many as the 171 fatalities in industry recorded by the HSE.

Ms Munn said: “The Health and Safety Executive is an important organisation, which helps to prevent people being killed, injured or being made ill by work.

“However there is a huge gap in its activity – and that is around driving for work.

“Deaths and injuries in other work places are properly investigated by the HSE but this does not happen for work-related deaths on our roads.

“If we included the number of road traffic accidents at work it would triple the number of workplace deaths recorded by the HSE.

“A few years ago I was contacted by a constituent following the death of his 25-year-old nephew, Toby Tweddell.

“Toby was killed in 2006 by a lorry driven by someone with undiagnosed sleep apnoea. Through this campaign I became aware of this gap in the remit of the Health and Safety Executive.

“I believe the government must ensure the Health and Safety Executive is directed to use its expertise to investigate death and serious injuries on our roads,” she said.

Maria Miller MP, responding for the government, said she would discuss the issues with the Minister for Employment and the Department for Transport.