It’s critical that employers create a work environment in which employees feel that their safety is always top of mind. Depending on the industry, the most common workplace hazards include slips and falls, lacerations and burns, overexertion and transportation incidents. That’s correct; motor vehicle accidents are one of the top causes of injury and death in the workplace.
The National Safety Council celebrates National Safety Month in June annually. This year, National Safety Month spotlights an array of topics, including mental health, ergonomics, building a safety culture, and last but not least, driving.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Workplace Motor Vehicle Accidents?
During National Safety Month, efforts should be made to recommit to driver safety. The NSC offers a variety of resources and training options to offer employees to ensure they understand how to be a safe driver, whether driving is a part of their daily duties or simply involves their commute to and from the workplace.
If employees drive as part of their regular responsibilities, such as to meet clients, visit different branches or locations or to deliver goods and services, there are a few things employers should keep in mind to ensure safety of these workers. Even if employees have perfect driving records and have been driving for many years, an accident can happen at any time, to anyone.
Here are a few things employers can do to help prevent workplace motor vehicle accidents:
- Check Motor Vehicle Reports (MVRs). On a yearly basis, verify drivers’ MVRs to ensure licenses are valid and that there are no outstanding violations. Additionally, only properly licensed individuals should be allowed to drive specialized vehicles.
- Keep company vehicles in good repair. Regularly inspect tires, brakes, lights, horns and mechanicals as needed and replace or repair any problems. If a vehicle needs repair work, it should be marked as out of commission.
- Create a corporate distracted driving policy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving was responsible for 9% of total fatal crashes in 2017. Employees should always be focused on the task at hand: getting to their destination safely. Creating a corporate distracted driving policy provides employees strict guidelines for avoiding cellphone use, including making calls or answering texts and emails, while they are behind the wheel.
- Enforce safety measures. It should go without saying that employees should be required to wear a seatbelt at all times. They should also obey all traffic laws, including posted speed limits, understand how to check blind spots before switching lanes, and know basic defensive driving skills.
- Allow drivers to take breaks. Employees required to drive for long hours, in the early morning or late at night may be more susceptible to drowsy driving and falling asleep at the wheel. Encourage drivers to take frequent breaks, at least every 100 miles or every two hours, especially when driving overnight. Before a long drive, employees should get plenty of sleep, and understand that if they start to feel groggy or irritable, they should pull over and get some rest.
Corporate Driver Training from DriveTeam