According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, transportation incidents have been the most frequent type of fatal workplace event every year for more than a decade. For employers and victims, a workplace crash can have far-reaching financial, medical and legal consequences. Who is at risk and what can employers do to prevent work-related Motor Vehicle accidents?
This Risk Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.
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Who is at Risk?
Anyone who operates a motor vehicle as part of his or her job is at risk of being involved in a roadway crash. Millions of other workers who are not full-time professional drivers who operate company or personal vehicles for deliveries, sales and repair calls, client visits, and many other job-related tasks are also at risk.
What Can Employers Do to Prevent Work-related Motor Vehicle Accidents?
Unlike other workplaces, the roadway is not a closed environment. Preventing work-related roadway crashes requires strategies that combine traffic safety principles and sound safety management practices.
Although employers cannot control roadway conditions, they can promote safe driving behavior by providing safety information to workers and by setting and enforcing driver safety policies.
Unsafe driving and lack of employer enforcement of safety policies may contribute to fatal work-related crashes. Employers can take proactive steps to protect their employees and their companies.
Assign a key member of the management team the responsibility and authority to set and enforce comprehensive driver safety policies such as the following:
- Enforce mandatory seat belt use.
- Do not require workers to drive irregular hours or beyond their normal working hours.
- Prohibit employees from talking on a cell phone while driving, even if it is for business.
- Develop work schedules that allow employees to obey speed limits and to follow applicable hours-of-service regulations.
Any employee who drives on the job is at risk for serious injury or death. Be sure you have appropriate safety and prevention programs in place to protect drivers.
Ensure that your vehicles are safe for employee use:
- Adopt a structured vehicle maintenance program.
- Provide company vehicles that offer the highest possible levels of occupant protection.
Safety Programs and Driver Performance
It’s important to implement comprehensive driving safety programs, and the make sure that employees are fit to drive for your company:
- Teach workers strategies for recognizing and managing driver fatigue and in-vehicle distractions.
- Provide training to workers operating specialized motor vehicles or equipment.
- Emphasize the need to follow safe driving practices on and off the job.
- Ensure that workers assigned to drive on the job have a valid driver’s license and that it is appropriate for the type of vehicle to be driven.
- Check driving records of prospective employees, and perform periodic rechecks after hiring.
- Maintain complete and accurate records of workers’ driving performance.
Reach out to your TPG Insurance Specialist now by calling 909.466.7876 and learn how to prevent these tragic occurrences. While some accidents may seem out of our control, having the resources to see potential risks beforehand will prove essential to your company. So, read more about our Risk Advisor Newsletter today!