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Driving for work

Driving for work is where you drive on a road as part of your employment.

This is in either a

  • HSE vehicle, or
  • private vehicle and getting travel expenses from the HSE

It does not include commuting to and from work, except where you are receiving travel expenses.

The law and driving for work

There are 3 main types of law that apply to driving for work:

  • Road Traffic law
  • Health and Safety law
  • EU rules on driving time

Driving for work - HSA

State Indemnity and Driving for Work - Motor Guidance

Manager responsibilities

  • Carry out a risk assessment to identify driving-for-work risks and putting measures in place to eliminate or minimise risks
  • Having procedures in place for dealing with accidents
  • Ensuring employees are aware of procedures to minimise risk and deal with accidents
  • Referring medical concerns about drivers to the local occupational health service

Employee responsibilities

  • Take reasonable care of your own safety, health and welfare and that of others
  • Follow the HSE safe driving for work policy (PDF, 604 KB, 34 pages)
  • Follow the rules of the road and speed limits
  • Ensure you are fit to drive at all times
  • Notify your manager of any change in your medical status that may impact your ability to drive
  • Inform your manager of any accidents or near misses while driving
  • Tell your manager about any injury or illness that may affect your ability to drive

Employees should be aware of the implications of driving when:

  • under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances
  • taking medication
  • feeling fatigued

Risk assessment

Managers must document risks with driving for work in their departmental risk assessments.

The risk assessment should highlight if more control measures are required.

Risk assessment process in the HSE safe driving for work policy (PDF, 604 KB, 34 pages)

Staff driving private vehicle risk assessment form (worked example)

Staff driving HSE vehicle risk assessment (worked example)

Driving for work risk factors

  • speeding
  • alcohol and drugs
  • not wearing seat belts
  • driver fatigue
  • distracted driving

Causes of work-related road traffic accidents

Some of the main causes of work-related road traffic accidents are:

  • unsafe vehicles
  • long or unplanned routes
  • stressed, tired, distracted or untrained drivers
  • poor driving techniques
  • poor road or weather conditions

Using mobile phones and telecommunications

Under current road traffic legislation, hands-free devices are permitted for calls but not recommended by the State Claims Agency, Health and Safety Authority and Road Safety Authority. Managers must risk assess the use of hands-free devices.

Drivers can be prosecuted for dangerous driving, careless driving or driving without due care or attention if found using hands-free equipment.


Emergency vehicles, such as ambulances and rapid response vehicles, are covered by exemptions under the Road Traffic Act 2006 in the course of their work.

Reporting work-related road traffic collisions

You must report all accidents that happen when driving for work to your line manager, in compliance with HSE Incident Management Framework 2020.

You must also report if:

  • a person dies
  • you sustain an injury and cannot work for more than 3 days (excluding the day of the accident)

Accidents are reported using the incident report system and national incident report form (NIRF) - 02 crash/collision

Accidents that happen when you are commuting to or from work do not need to be reported.

Related documents

Car walk around checks

Safe driving for work policy fast fact (PDF, 963 KB, 2 pages)

HSE safe driving for work policy (PDF, 604 KB, 34 pages)

Staff driving private vehicle risk assessment form (worked example) (PDF, 578KB, 8 pages)

Staff driving HSE vehicle risk assessment form (worked example) (PDF, 790 KB, 7 pages)

Generic risk assessment form

Guidance on completion of generic risk assessment form

Generic risk assessment fillable form template (Word, 132 KB, 2 pages)

Contact HSE Health and Safety helpdesk

Use the Health and Safety self-service portal or

Phone: 1800 420 420

Monday to Friday 10.30am to 12 noon and 2.00pm to 3.30pm