Workers compensation claims are made by Philadelphia workers for lots of different reasons. Unsurprisingly, one of the most common reasons for work injury claims is motor-vehicle accidents that happen while on-the-job. Lots of people drive for work, either as a major portion of their job duties (like for delivery drivers) or because they need to use a vehicle, machinery, or equipment to try to accomplish other work tasks.
Because vehicle accidents at work so commonly result in injuries, deaths, and workers’ comp cases, efforts are underway to try to ensure workers are able to stay safe behind the wheel. One part of this effort is an annual Drive Safely Work Week, which was held this year October 3 through October 7, 2016. The fact is, autumn and winter are the most dangerous time of year for auto accidents. The holiday travel season, early darkness, and winter weather are a triple threat.
Drive Safely Work Week is organized by the Network of Employers for Traffic (NETS). It was organized in recognition of the fact employers lose more than $47 billion each year as a result of traffic collisions. Employers can lose money in crashes because of lost productivity when their workers cannot come into work or pass away due to vehicle injuries. Employers also lose out due to workers’ compensation claim payouts and, in some cases, because they can be held legally liable for injuries their employees caused to others while in the line of duty.
Drive Safely Work Week aims to combat financial loss by employers as well as losses by employee drivers and their families due to injuries or fatalities in auto accidents. There are different focuses of each different Drive Safely Work Week. This year, the focus is on preventing driver distraction. A free tool kit is provided at Traffic Safety.org in order to help employers plan a safe driving campaign focused on encouraging their employees not to become distracted.
The tool kit, and the focus on the 2016 Drive Safely Work Week Campaign, include set issues as:
- How sleep affects daily work performance, including the ability to focus while driving.
- Some of the signs and risk factors for drowsy motorists.
- The types of driving behaviors employees do which can contribute to causing an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.
- Dangers of the use of mobile phones and other electronic devices behind the wheel.
- The importance of driving more slowly and of buckling up when operating a motor vehicle. Having a seat belt on if a crash happens can reduce the risk of a serious injury or fatality by as much as 50 percent.
Motor vehicle crashes by workers cost 1.6 million work days over the course of 2015. NETS believes it is possible to reduce crash rates among employees by as much as 50 percent. Companywide campaigns initiated during Drive Safely Work Week are a great place to start. If employers can convince workers not to be distracted while driving and to avoid other unsafe behaviors, money and lives can be saved and serious injuries can be avoided.