Cycle to Work Safely

By Chris Wagstaff.
26 Jul 2018

For employees trying to stay fit, cycling to work can be an excellent way of keeping in shape. Unfortunately, doing so can present certain hazards. This time last year, a report into cycling accidents reported 18,477 injuries/accidents, which included 3,499 who were seriously injured or killed. The report also highlighted that the most dangerous times for cyclists on the road were 8:00-9:00am and 3:00-6:00pm, in other words, rush hour.

It’s for this reason you should take precautions. If your workplace runs a ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme, make sure you address the risks.

What is Cycle to Work?

’Cycle to work’ is a Government initiative introduced in 1999 to encourage cycling as a means of transport to work. All public, private and third sector employers can run a cycle to work scheme and all employees in an organisation can hire bicycles and safety equipment through the scheme. Cycle to work day, for those that are not aware, is on Wednesday the 15th August 2018. It is the UK’s largest national cycle commuting event and has been running every year since 2012. The event is championed by Cyclescheme. The events have been a great success and to further ensure riders safety the government Rules 59 to 82 should be referred.

You and your bicycle

When yourself or your employees make the choice to cycle to work, send a notice around the office informing them of the safety precautions they should take. Reiterate that they should make sure that they feel confident in their ability to ride safely on the road. Also, make sure they are certain that:

  • they choose the right size and type of cycle for comfort and safety
  • lights and reflectors are kept clean and in good working order
  • tyres are in good condition and inflated to the pressure shown on the tyre
  • gears are working correctly
  • the chain is properly adjusted and oiled
  • the saddle and handlebars are adjusted to the correct height.

It is recommended that cyclists fit a bell to their cycle. You MUST

  • ensure your brakes are efficient
  • at night, use lit front and rear lights and have a red rear reflector.

Cycle training can help both children and adults, especially those adults returning to cycling to develop the skills needed to cycle safely on today’s roads. A new national cycle training standard has been developed which the Government is promoting and making funding available for delivery in schools. As a further precaution, all cyclists should consider the benefits of undertaking cycle training. For information on this, contact your local authority.

Expert Support

If you require assistance with a Cycle to Work scheme or any other health & safety matter, contact Croner on 0808 145 3380

About the Author

Chris Wagstaff

Chris is the Director of Health and Safety at Croner. Chris is also CMIOSH accredited, an IOSH Mentor and HSE People Champion and has over 20 years working in Health & Safety.


Fiona Burns