Keep your employees safe behind the wheel

Keeping your employee’s safe behind the wheel

Kimberly Daise

There is a continued need for employers to keep their employee’s safe behind the wheel. 

 All employers who have workers that drive for business should have policies to ensure safe driving.  The policy should include:

  • A prohibition ban on texting and hand-held phone use.
  • A prohibition on driving while under the influence of any amount of alcohol, illegal drugs or certain prescription and over-the counter medications that may impact driving.
  • Training on safe driving strategies and discuss changes in road rules.
  • Allow workers to take short naps — 45 minutes or less — in a safe location if and when they are tired while driving.
  • Information on sleep disorders and other illnesses that may impact drowsiness.

Protecting New Drivers

Young workers have the highest crash rate based on miles driven, largely due to their inexperience. They are typically less able than other workers to recognize and respond to traffic risks.

There are several steps employers should take to prevent accidents among the youngest workers. 

1) Know the law. Young workers are restricted in terms of whether, when and how long they can drive for work and check and verify the conditions on which they are driving.

2) Do background checks. Before hiring a young worker to drive, make sure he has a valid state license and has no record of any moving violations.

3) Take precautions. Before sending the worker out on the road, make sure the assignment follows the laws for such things as driving restrictions and transporting others or certain products. 

Decrease Risks for Older Drivers

While older workers are more likely to adhere to safety regulations – such as wearing seatbelts, due to a decline in their physical and mental abilities that coincide with the aging process, they have twice the risk of dying when they do get into a work-related accident compared to younger workers.  Employers should consider the needs of older workers in their safety and health programs.

4) Reconsider your options. Reducing the amount of time older workers are driving can prevent accidents.

5) Be Flexible. Allow drivers to talk with their supervisors to adjust their driving hours if they have problems with night vision, for example, or if they are too tired or uncomfortable driving in bad weather (rain or snow).

6) Test Ability. Conduct periodic assessments of drivers to determine their proficiency, and restrict driving based on the results.

7) Gather Information. Older workers who take a variety of medications may be unaware of the effects they can have. Obtain the medication list and information about the potential effects of prescriptions.

Keep your workers safe by eliminating risks.