Do your employees transport equipment? Work in roadways? Drive to and from sales calls? Drive on company time or a company-owned vehicle? If so, a driver safety program is a must.
Transportation-related injuries and fatalities can happen to anyone, in any industry, not just those operating heavy trucks or managing fleets of vehicles.
And, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death and injury in the workplace.
Employers bear the cost.
Did you know: “A workplace motor vehicle crash costs an employer more than $24,000. If the employee is injured, the cost increases to more than $125,000.” When a fatality is involved, costs can exceed $500,000.
Motor vehicle accidents drive up the costs of employee benefits as well as the company overhead needed to administer these programs.
On or off the job, accidents have a financial, physical and even psychological impact to employees, their families and their employers.
“more than 1,766 deaths a year result from occupational transportation incidents. That number is more than 38 percent of the 4,547 annual number of fatalities from occupational injuries. While fatal highway incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal work-related event, transportation incidents decreased slightly in 2010 relative to 2009, but still accounted for nearly 2 out of every 5 fatal work injuries in 2010.”
Workplace Driver Safety Program: Protect Your Most Valuable Assets
Be proactive when it comes to the safety of your employees. A Workplace Driver Safety Program protects both the human and financial assets of your business. Set and enforce driver safety policies.
For instance, a Distracted Driving policy might be informing employees that cell phone use and texting are not allowed when driving a company vehicle while on company business. Other policies might address:
- Mandatory use of seatbelts.
- Driving during regular and irregular hours.
- Cell phone use (even if a hands-free headset is available) or other devices such as GPS units while driving.
- Protocol for handling violations and actions to be taken.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Specific types of behavior, such as aggressive, distracted or fatigued driving.
- Motorcycle safety.
Other elements of Workplace Driver Safety Program might address managing the fleet, employee training and performance evaluations, such as:
- Establish a vehicle maintenance program.
- Purchase company vehicles with the highest levels of occupant protection
- Train workers to recognize and manage driver fatigue and in-vehicle distractions.
- Provide training and retraining for workers responsible for operating specialized motor vehicles and/or equipment.
- Ensure workers have a valid driver’s license that is appropriate for the type of vehicle being driven (Commercial, Chauffer’s, etc.)
- Conduct periodic driving reviews.
- Maintain records of workers’ driving performance.
Workplace Driver Safety Programs help save lives, reduce the risk of on-the-job injuries and fatalities, encourage safe driving practices and build a culture of safety consciousness.
Make safe driving an expectation.
Direct Costs include things such as: workers’ compensation, healthcare costs, auto insurance and liability claims and settlements, physical and vocational rehab costs, survivor benefits and property damage.
Indirect Costs include things such as: fleet manager’s time to coordinate vehicle repairs and replacement, overtime pay, employee replacement, re-entry and retraining of injured employees and bad publicity.
According to OSHA employers are legally responsible for providing safe work environment, which also includes motor vehicle safety. Requires employers to comply with hazard-specific safety and health standards and under General Duty Clause of the Act employers can be cited for not taking reasonable steps to prevent motor vehicle crashes involving employees in workplace or on company time.