The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), have launched Sláinte agus Tiomáint - Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines for bus and truck drivers (known as Group 2 drivers), while updated guidelines for Group 1 drivers are included.
In effect, all employees who may drive as part of their work, even if infrequently and using their own vehicles need to be made aware of these new requirements.
Sláinte agus Tiomáint provides guidance on medical fitness for drivers and highlights the need for all of us to appreciate that the state of our health impacts, to a greater or lesser degree, on our ability to drive safely. Driver fitness is governed by EU law and regulations made in Ireland under the Road Traffic Acts.
The primary purpose of the document is to assist doctors in their assessment of drivers with medical conditions which may affect their fitness to drive. Therefore, there are circumstances where an individual will be advised that they are not “fit to drive” for as specified period of time and this may impact on business operations.
While there is a specific duty on the driver (the employee) to declare to a doctor any condition that could impair their driving, employers should not knowingly allow employees with specified medical conditions* to drive for work, unless they have written doctors consent.
All employers should amend their driving for work policies to include the specific medical conditions* - including temporary conditions** - that could affect an employee’s fitness to drive and state that employees should speak to their doctor.
Additional wording, directly from the guidelines you may want to include:
"A driver should not drive while medically unfit to do so and can be convicted of an offence for doing so".
"At licence application and renewal, drivers complete a declaration regarding their health, including whether they have any relevant medical conditions from a list of 23 medical conditions. As advised on the Driver Application/Renew Form, when the listed medical conditions are present the NDLS requests that a medical examination is required to confirm a driver’s fitness to hold a driver licence. In the case of medical examinations requested by the NDLS, drivers have a duty to declare their health status to the examining health professional. Drivers are also required to report to the NDLS when they become aware of a health condition that may affect their ability to drive safely."
* Specified conditions - see page 107 of Guideline
** Temporary conditions - see page 10 of Guidelines
Download Full Guidelines here: RSA Fitness to Drive