WORKPLACE SAFETY SERIES
This eESI podcast features our own Robert Ramirez discussing some of the major contributors to workplace injuries and fatalities. Robert tells us that one of the leading causes of workplace injuries is motor vehicle-related accidents. He notes that according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) statistics, 38% of workplace fatalities are related to driving and motor vehicle accidents. Further, as this article at the Accident Fund points out, non-fatal work-related crashes can cost employers tens of thousands of dollars. By improving workplace safety behind the wheel employers can save lives and avoid expensive property damage and lost time.
What kinds of situations lead to driving-related injuries and accidents?
The Texas Department of Transportation’s website provides vehicle crash statistics that offer detailed insights into what can go wrong when a driver gets behind the wheel. But it’s not just drivers who are at risk for injuries related to vehicles in the workplace. This report from the Federal Highway Administration points out the dangers of working in highway work zones. Clearly, many employers have a real opportunity to improve their workplace safety by focusing on driver safety.
What can employers do to improve workplace safety behind the wheel?
In our podcast, Workplace Safety: How to Prevent Driving Accidents and Fatalities, Robert tells us that distracted driving is a huge factor in many work-related vehicle accidents. Access to cell phones and other devices contributes to the problem. And, while banning all electronics may not be feasible, there are steps employers can take to help reduce the risks of distracted driving.
One simple step employers can take is to create a calendar system to alert office staff when employees are on the road to prevent unnecessary communications is a start, Robert says.
Next, he recommends that employers create a culture that permits employees to stop work without penalty when they need to take a call or respond to an email while traveling. Pulling over for a few minutes can save thousands of dollars in property damage by avoiding an accident.
Finally, for commercial drivers, Robert recommends installing hands-free communication systems that allow drivers to stay in touch with dispatch and other drivers while still keeping their hands on the wheel.
To add to these suggestions, employers should review our FREE DRIVING SAFETY GUIDE DOWNLOAD. This guide provides helpful information for companies and employees that can make for a safer workplace.
Preventing distracted driving requires a commitment to raising awareness and providing employees with the tools they need to do their jobs safely. By taking these protective measures we can all contribute to making our workplaces and our roadways safer. So remember, keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel to improve workplace safety behind the wheel.