Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of work fatalities, accounting for more than 1500 worker deaths annually. The roadway is a unique and dynamic work environment where road, traffic, and weather conditions constantly change. Because of this, employers are limited in what they can control. While it can be difficult for employers to control traveling and roadway
conditions, they can promote safe driving behavior. Preventing work-related vehicle accidents requires strategies that combine safety principles and management practices.
• Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of work fatalities
• Develop a driver safety program
• Establish regulations that manage vehicles and drivers
• FMCSA – enforcing comprehensive regulations
• OSHA – enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, and education
Employers have the responsibility to develop a driver safety program and provide safe vehicles for their drivers. It’s important to establish regulations that manage vehicles and drivers and provide driver awareness safety training. A comprehensive driving safety program that includes regular driving training helps improve performance and increase driving skills. Training should be an ongoing process; this can be accomplished by holding training meetings to review safety
procedures and discuss new information. Employers have the responsibility to provide vehicles that offer high levels of protection in the event of an accident. They can ensure the vehicles are in excellent driving condition by providing regular inspections and maintenance.
Employers should not place an unnecessary burden on drivers to complete an unrealistic driving schedule or place the driver at risk by having them operate the vehicle in hazardous working conditions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) primary responsibility is to ensure safe operation within the industry. They do so by enforcing comprehensive regulations on employers and drivers. Its mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities. OSHA’s primary focus is on ensuring the safety and health of workers by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, and education.
As always, be safe out there!