Employment-related accidents behind the wheel are the leading cause of death from traumatic injuries in the workplace, killing some 2,200 people a year and accounting for 22% of job-related fatalities. Deaths and injuries from these accidents increase costs and reduce productivity for employers – while bringing pain and suffering to family, friends, and coworkers.
Preventing work-related roadway crashes poses a significant risk management challenge. The roadway is a unique work environment. Compared with other work settings, employers have little ability to control conditions and exert direct supervision over their drivers. The volume of traffic and road construction continue to increase, while workers feel pressured to drive faster for longer periods, and often use mobile electronic devices that distract them behind the wheel.
To help reduce this risk, for both long-distance truck drivers and employees who occasionally use personal vehicles for company business, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that employers follow these precautions:
- Require drivers and passengers to use seat belts.
- Ensure that employees who drive on the job have valid licenses.
- Incorporate road fatigue management in safety programs.
- Provide fleet vehicles with top quality crash protection.
- Make sure employees receive training to operate specialized vehicles.
- Offer periodic vision screening and physicals for employees whose primary job is driving.
- Avoid requiring workers to drive irregular or extended hours.
- Prohibit cell phone use and other distracting activities such as eating, drinking, or adjusting non-critical vehicle controls while driving.
- Set schedules that allow drivers to obey speed limits.
- Follow state laws on graduated driver’s licensing and child labor.
For more information about how to prevent work-related driving deaths and injuries, just give one of our Risk Management experts a call at any time.