Lessons from losses - Motor vehicle safety

By: Courtney Rosengartner, Sr. Loss Control Specialist

A concrete contractor was returning back to the workshop from a job-site when his work vehicle was struck by a semi-truck. The young worker thought the semi driver had signaled his intention to turn while stopped to cross the intersection, so he proceeded to cross the highway, resulting in a T-bone type collision. The worker had to be transported by ambulance to the hospital. Fortunately, the injuries he suffered were relatively minor; including stitches in his hand, elbow, and face. He was able to be discharged the same day and missed just one day of work. However, vehicle costs were substantial with over $100,000 in damage to the semi-truck and several thousand dollars in damage to his work vehicle.

Employers have a large part in safe roadways for everyone. Millions of people drive as part of their job duties. While some of these employees are professionally trained, many are not trained at all. Typically, if driving is only a small part of the job requirement, the employee does not receive the same safety commitment as others who spend hours per day driving. It is essential for employers to manage this risk just as they do with other workplace hazards. Half of crash-related injuries cause employees to miss work. The employer costs for these injuries is significant; including a decrease in employee health and productivity, and an increase in lost time from work and insurance costs.

Employers can offer defensive driving courses, implement a corporate cell phone policy to eliminate cell phone use while driving and require employees to wear seat belts.


Source: National Safety Council
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