What is the most hazardous task your workers will do today? If you’re in a high-hazard industry, you might think it’s operating a dangerous piece of machinery or working at heights. If your industry is less dangerous, maybe it’s a job that requires heavy lifting. However, there’s a good chance that the most dangerous thing your workers will do today is none of the above. It’s very likely to be something more routine, an activity many people do every day without considering the hazards. That activity, of course, is driving.
Society is so accustomed to automobile transportation as a way of life that many of us sitized to its hazards. But think of it this way: driving a car means operating a machine that weighs thousands of pounds, often at speeds exceeding 60 miles per hour, while navigating busy streets and highways full of other cars, buses, trucks, pedestrians, cyclists, changing road conditions, weather hazards, and more. And if that’s not enough, many people try to do all this while simultaneously texting, distracted by passengers, fatigued, under the influence of drugs or alcohol—or all of the above.
It’s no wonder, then, that traffic incidents are consistently the number-one cause of workplace fatalities and the number-two cause of unintentional injury deaths in the United States.
You may be wondering what an employer can do about this issue. Unless your employees are commercial drivers or frequently drive company vehicles, you might think employers have a limited role in making sure their workers drive safely.
But whether your workers drive only during their commutes or have driving responsibilities on the job, providing a refresher on safe driving practices can help prevent injuries and fatalities and the associated lost time and productivity, insurance claims, property damage, and more.
Safe driving essentials
Share these safe driving tips from OSHA with your employees as an important reminder to respect the hazards of operating a vehicle:Always wear a seat belt, and make sure that all passengers do, as well.
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