BBB: Driving course could cut work-related accidents

Published on Saturday, 1 March 2014 22:37 - Written by Mechele Agbayani Mills Tyler Better Business Bureau

If your business delivers a product or your employees travel to perform a service, it pays to be careful. Travel-related accidents are frequent source of serious workplace injury.

According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than two of every five fatal work injuries in 2012 resulted from transportation incidents. It’s not just a matter of safety. Accidents can have a big impact on the bottom line. The average crash costs an employer $16,500. If a worker has a crash on the job resulting in an injury, it can cost the employer $74,000. If there is a fatality, costs can exceed $500,000.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), along with the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) and the NHTSA have produced a set of guidelines for employers to reduce motor vehicle crashes.

One way to reduce the chance of accidents is to implement a safe driving program for your employees. OSHA’s recommended program includes these steps:

Get senior management commitment and employee involvement. Senior management can provide leadership, set policies and allocate resources to create a safe driving culture. Actively encouraging employee participation will help the effort succeed.

Have a written set of policies and procedures. Create enforceable traffic safety policies and communicate them to all employees. Offer incentives for following the rules and consequences of breaking them.

Create driver contracts. Draw up a contract for employees who drive for work purposes to ensure they understand company policies re- garding traffic safety, driver performance, vehicle maintenance and reporting moving violations.

Check driving re-cords. Employees who drive for work purposes should have good driving records. Those with poor driving records are more likely to cause problems in the future. Set a definite number of violations an employee can have and still be able to drive for work.

Set up a policy for crash reporting and investigations. Employees should report all crashes, regardless of severity. Clearly define what a driver’s responsibilities are following a crash. Crashes should be reviewed to determine their cause and whether they were preventable.

Select a safe vehicle and maintain it. Consider safety features when selecting a company vehicle. Maintain it properly and inspect it on a routine basis.

Set up a system for disciplinary action. Determine how your company will respond in case of a moving violation or preventable crash. For example, some companies have a system that assigns points for moving violations, with progressive discipline if the driver develops a pattern of violations and/or preventable crashes.  

Set up a reward program. One way to encourage safe driving behaviors is to give employees an incentive or special reward.

Periodically train employees and communicate safe driving remin-ders. These can benefit even experienced drivers who may have become complacent.

Meet regulatory requirements. Make sure your company follows required local, state and federal highway safety regulations.

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