"We haven't done everything we can to create truly safe workplaces in Oregon until we address the largest single source of on-the-job fatalities in the state and in the nation: motor vehicles," Oregon Administrator Michael Wood said. "And our starting point needs to be a recognition that such deaths are workplace deaths. We need to track them and to treat them with the same seriousness and careful analysis that we try to provide whenever an employee is killed on the job."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, highway accidents have been the No. 1 cause of work-related fatalities every year since the agency began its Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 1992. Likewise, motor vehicle accidents have been the leading cause of workplace fatalities in Oregon four of the past five years, accounting for 26 percent of fatalities compensable in the workers' compensation system between 2001 and 2005.
Fatal Heart Attacks Also Must Be Reported
Oregon OSHA also is reminding employers that fatal heart attacks that occur at work also must be reported to the agency. According to Oregon OSHA, not all fatal heart attacks reported to the agency result in an investigation.
Workplace deaths (including heart attacks) must be reported to Oregon OSHA at (800) 922-2689 within 8 hours of the employer being aware of the incident. Workplace accidents that send three or more employees to the hospital also must be reported within 8 hours, while employers must report an incident that requires the overnight hospitalization of a worker within 24 hours.
Oregon OSHA updated reporting requirements in September, following public hearings on proposed rule changes in August.
Additional resources and information about motor vehicle safety at work are available on the Oregon OSHA Web site, under "Vehicles" in the A-Z Topic Index.