Almost 300 EPA staff to undergo driver training programme

Agency has invited tenders for a special programme to include one-on-one training

The course is aimed at staff who are required to drive on a regular basis, the EPA says. Photograph: iStock

The course is aimed at staff who are required to drive on a regular basis, the EPA says. Photograph: iStock

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)wants its staff to undergo a special driver training programme over concerns about the number of crashes on Irish roads that are work related.

The State agency has invited tenders for a driver training programme for 280 members of staff which would include a classroom session highlighting common driving challenges as well as one-on-one training with a driving instructor.

The participants will all already hold full drivers licences and the EPA said it was inspired to put on a driver training course after researching similar programmes at other organisations, such as the ESB.

It said the course is aimed at staff who are required to drive on a regular basis with the majority of EPA staff required to drive to carry out their duties (eg site visits and audits; sampling at sites; site investigations etc).

According to the Health and Safety Authority, more than 14,000 road collisions in Ireland between 2008 and 2011 may have been work related. A person who drives for work is someone whose employer provides them with a vehicle or someone who receives an allowance for driving their own vehicle.

“While employers cannot directly control roadway conditions, they can promote and influence safe driving behaviour and actions by their employees,” the EPA said.

The agency added: “We envisage approximately 280 staff will undertake driver training over the course of this programme, to be delivered in two phases.

“The training should comprise the following two core elements: One: A classroom session. This session should highlight common challenges in driving and may include elements such as driving errors, driving in adverse road and weather conditions, vehicle information technology.

“Two: On-road one-to-one training element. These one-hour sessions are one to one with a trained driving instructor and course participant, to take place in the participant’s normal work vehicle (which may be an EPA vehicle or the participant’s private vehicle).”