Not only do traffic accidents cause damage, pain and suffering, but they are also the leading cause of on-the-job fatalities, according to the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).
Each year, on-the-job traffic crashes cause 3,000 deaths and 332,000 injuries and cost employers more than $43 billion, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration.
While costs resulting from vehicular crashes average $22,000 per crash and $110,000 per injury, the ASSE points out that the hidden costs of vehicular accidents are what''s hurting American employers.
These hidden traffic accident costs include:
- The cost of lost time of the injured worker,
- Lost time by other employees who stop work out of sympathy or curiosity to assist the injured employee,
- The cost of time lost by the foreman, supervisor or other executives while assisting the injured employee and investigating the cause of the accident,
- Arranging for the injured employee''s production/work to be continued by another employee and training that employee, and
- Incidental expenses, including interference with production, failure to fill orders on time, loss of bonuses, payment of forfeits and the cost of health care personnel time when not covered by insurance.
Because of the widespread impact crashes have on injured employees their co-workers, not to mention an employer''s bottom line, ASSE is urging employers to address the issue by including traffic safety programs within their organizations.
These programs should include guidelines for both on- and off-the-job traffic and motor vehicle operations and conditions.
In addition, ASSE recommends that upper-level management should be directly involved in all safety training programs and on- and off-the-job motor vehicle accident investigations.
ASSE also recommends that analyses of employee accidents, including causes and prevention, and assessments of accident loss costs to both employees and employers be included in all safety programs.
by Melissa Martin