OSHA Issues Guidelines to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes

OSHA, in partnership with other organizations, has developed a 10-step driving program that outlines how employers can improve traffic safety performance and minimize the risk of motor vehicle crashes.

OSHA, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, hopes that employers utilize the new guidelines to reduce the number of job-related and commuter-related motor vehicle crashes.

"Motor vehicle crashes are costly to employers and employees," said Jonathan Snare, acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. "This new guidance document will show companies how safe-driving practices and safety-conscious behavior can help employees avoid tragedy."

The 32-page tool, "Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes," includes a detailed section on the causes of aggressive, distracted, drowsy and impaired driving and tips for avoiding such behavior on the road.

It also includes success stories from employers who have benefited from effective driver safety programs.

While there are costs involved, the return-on-investment (ROI) in implementing such a program is positive, according to an OSHA spokesperson.

The Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. reported in 2001 that 61 percent of surveyed business executives believe their companies receive an ROI of $3 or more for every $1 spent on improving workplace safety, according to OSHA. The cost of implementing a driver safety program in the workplace is minimal compared to the $60 billion motor vehicle crashes cost employers annually in medical care, legal expenses, property damage and lost productivity, according to the guideline.

Highway incidents have been the top cause of workplace fatalities from 1992 through 2004, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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