Seat belts save lives. In fact, wearing your seat belt can reduce your chances of a fatal injury by 45%. As the only state that does not require adults to wear a seat belt, New Hampshire has an average seat belt usage of only 70% compared to the national average of 90%. A seat belt law for adults may not exist, but that doesn't mean employers shouldn't enact policies that encourage safer driving—especially when workers are operating company-owned automobiles and machinery.
How to Keep Employees Safe on the Roads
In order to minimize the risk of fatal injury while driving, it is strongly recommended that companies make seat belt usage mandatory for drivers and passengers who are using vehicles on company time. Driving policies provide governance over company drivers, as well as a degree of accountability.
Here are a few other ways to keep a workforce safe while operating automobiles:
Always be sure to check driving records for all employees before they are allowed to drive on company business. In addition to that, keep a copy of their license for your own records. It's their responsibility to make sure their identification is valid but it's yours to make sure none of your drivers are operating machinery without the right documentation.
Furthermore, it's important that you require all employees to report any accidents or moving violations, even during personal driving. Require them to report near misses as well—assure them that reporting near misses will not subject them to disciplinary action.
Establish procedures to investigate all accidents and near misses—the focus should be on eliminating the causes and preventing future accidents.
Incentives for Buckling Up
An effective method for increasing seat belt use is through establishing a seat belt pledge that employees sign to commit to wearing their seat belts. Incentive programs can offer a modest reward based on the number of consecutive days drivers have buckled up.
Little reminders help, too. Make sure they know who they're driving safe for!
There's also value in having a driver's guideline for internal purposes, which establishes the rules for the use of company vehicles, including seat belt policy.
Make sure to spell out provisions about using cell phones, texting, eating, listening to music players with earphones, or other distractions while driving. It should go without saying that your guideline would forbid the use of alcohol and drugs while driving as well as Require drivers to obey speed limits and all other driving safety rules.
A guideline should also define disciplinary action that will be taken for violation of company policy.
Access to Driver's Education
In addition to written policies, companies should provide routine education for drivers and passengers on the importance of motor vehicle safety. Instituting a defensive driver training program for all employees (not just those who drive on the job) can increase overall mindfulness around road safety.
Establish Driver Safety Protocols for Your Team
Your company’s most valuable asset is its employees. Help keep them safe by making them buckle up.
The Lawson Group works with companies to assess the risks for all types of injuries and illnesses in their workplaces, and create customized plans for how to reduce and, hopefully, eliminate those risks. We help schools, building managers, property owners, municipalities, construction teams, and architects keep their employees, students, residents, and stakeholders safe. Contact us to learn more.