According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation incidents are the leading cause of work-related fatalities. The cost to a business may include vehicle damage to owned vehicles, injury to third parties and third party property as employers are liable for their employee’s actions.
According to the US Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://stats.bls.gov/iif )
- 1,308 workers died each year from crashes on public highways
- 316 workers died each year in crashes that occurred off the highway or on industrial premises.
- 347 pedestrian workers died each year as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle
Motor vehicles crashes have economic costs in addition to human costs. In 1998-2000 motor vehicle crash injuries occurring on and off the job were estimated to cost employers nearly $60 billion annually. On average, a motor vehicle fatality occurring on the job cost a business over $500,000 in direct and liability costs. Also, each nonfatal injury cost nearly $74,000.* *Source: NHTSA (http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/airbags/EconomicBurden/pages /WhatDoTCCost.html )
It is a business owner or manager’s legal responsibility under the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA) to safe guard drivers at work, regardless if they use their own or company vehicles.
The risks of work-related motor vehicle crashes are open to all industries and occupations. Accidents can arise from employees who spend part or all of their days behind the wheel driving to and from appointments or jobsites as well. Therefore, not only those industries that transport goods or passengers are at risk. These statistics and facts ought to make it clear how significant a Fleet Management Program can be to the financial well being of a company, regardless of their size.
OSHA suggests setting up clear procedures for employees when it comes to safe driving practices. Fleet Management Programs (FMP) reduce a business’s exposure and protects employees. Some things to include in a FMP are:
- Fleet Safety assessments
- Driver Selection and hiring procedures
- Defensive Driver Training
- Vehicle Maintenance
- Preventable accident remedial & discipline program (including Texting rules)
- Accident Reporting and investigation procedures
If you would like to know more about Fleet Management Programs, visit OSHA’s helpful link: www.osha.gov/distracted-driving/index.html , it provides useful resources including model policies to use or adapt to your individual business, research findings and educational materials.
In addition, many insurance carriers offer on-site training to employers. If you are interested in implementing a Fleet Management Program call your local agent and they will be able to verify if your carrier has these resources available and guide you in the right direction to a preventative risk management approach in vehicle safety.