Drive Safely Work Week Launched Oct. 6

If ever there was a week for employers to focus on educating their employees about driving safely, this is it.

OSHA and the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) signed an alliance on Oct. 6 with a goal of reducing work-related traffic injuries and deaths. The alliance was signed on the first day of the seventh annual Dirve Safely Work Week campaign. The campaign focuses on the positive actions each driver can take to ensure their safety and the safety of others as they drive for work or commute to and from work.

"Motor vehicle incidents are one of the top causes of fatalities on the job," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "Our Alliance with NETS will strengthen our outreach efforts to increase awareness about roadway safety and enable us to achieve a greater impact by saving lives and preventing traffic related incidents at worksites all across the country."

One of the main causes of traffic jams and accidents is poorly maintained vehicles. By eliminating the unpredictable backups caused by cars breaking down or losing parts on the road, drivers and employers can help make roads safer. To emphasize this point, the alliance was signed at an Advance Auto Parts store in Baileys Cross Roads, Va.

"Safe driving is everyone's business and employers must do their part to make safe driving practices a part of every trip, every day," said Kathryn Lusby-Treber, executive director of NETS. "We believe that our new cooperative relationship with OSHA will advance a culture of prevention that will reduce traffic collisions and related deaths and injuries in our nation's workforce."

OSHA and NETS will work together to provide employers of all sizes with access to information and resources such as OSHA's compliance assistance specialists and NETS states that can be used to create effective workplace traffic safety programs, develop and disseminate materials that promote safe driving practices, and work on electronic assistance tools for workplace traffic safety programs, including fleet safety programs.

The alliance calls for OSHA and NETS to promote a national dialogue on workplace safety and health that will raise awareness of safe driving practices and traffic safety programs. The members will convene or participate in forums and round table discussions on safe driving practices to help forge innovative solutions to traffic safety issues in the workplace and work with other alliance participants on specific issues and projects related to traffic and fleet safety.

A joint team of representatives from OSHA and NETS will meet regularly to develop an action plan, determine working procedures and identify the roles and responsibilities of the participants. In addition, they will meet at least quarterly to track and share information on activities and results in achieving the goals of the alliance.

Created in 1989 by public and private sector leaders, NETS develops safety policies, workplace informational and training programs and corporate community activities to help reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries. For more information about Drive Safely Work Week, visit the NETS Web site at www.trafficsafety.org.

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