By Erin Dougherty Foley and Craig B. Simonsen

blog picThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Center for Motor Vehicle Safety (CMVS), through its NIOSH Science Blog, recently featured the Drive Safely Work Week campaign. The event is scheduled for this week, October 5-9, 2015.

Drive Safely Work Week is sponsored by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS). NETS is a public-private partnership to engage employers in preventing motor vehicle crashes on and off the job. In their blog, Rebecca Olsavsky and Stephanie Pratt, PhD, note that “motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of workplace fatalities in the U.S., and the second leading cause of unintentional fatal injuries off the job.” (Emphasis added.)

The CMVS has found that in 2012, 36% of all work-related fatalities reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics were associated with motor vehicles. Between 2003-2012, 12,458 worker deaths occurred in single- or multiple-vehicle crashes on public highways

To assist employers in protecting their employees from motor vehicle crashes, the CMVS has released a fact sheet for employers: “Preventing Work-Related Motor Vehicle Crashes.” DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2015-111. The fact sheet “outlines components of a successful motor vehicle safety program” and provides a checklist that “employers can use to implement the recommendations.” The CMVS motor vehicle safety program outlines the following components for an effective program:

  1. Company commitment to road safety.
  2. Written policies to guide employee actions to promote road safety.
  3. Driver selection, training, and evaluation that maximizes road safety.
  4. Safe and well-maintained vehicles.

The CMVS fact sheet can provide employers with a broad outline in the development of a company-wide motor vehicle safety program.

It is important to note that if a company-wide motor vehicle safety program is developed or is in-place, then the elements of the program need necessarily be fully implemented and monitored for defects, as if an accident does occur, you may be sure that third party inspectors, investigators (and other counsel) will be reviewing your plan closely to see if it was sufficient, and if it was fully implemented.

If you have questions regarding this information, please contact the authors or your Seyfarth attorney.