Monday, March 18, 2013

PVI – Employees at risk because of vehicles

How many of you have been impacted as a result of a motor vehicle incident that affected you, or a family member, or a work associate?  A look at National Safety Council data for 2010 shows 3,783 job related fatalities compared to 17,500 vehicle related fatalities; we are about five times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle than at work.  This same database indicates the medical consulted injury rate on the job is 3.3 vs. a 6.4 rate for vehicles.  This all leads to a conclusion that driving is a high risk, high exposure task that our employees and their families face every day.
Our lifestyles, with the increase in social interaction as well as other distractions/impairments to driving, lead to even more risks, such as the following reductions in driver’s reaction time:

  • Texting – 35 percent reduction
  • Cell phones – 18 percent reduction
  • Fatigue after 18-20 hours awake – 14 percent reduction
  • Alcohol at the legal limit – 12 percent reduction

These issues not only affect us, but also the other drivers on the road who are outside our personal control.  This kind of data has been a real motivator for over the road trucking companies to become very serious about preparing drivers for their most dangerous activity – being in control of a vehicle.  It also became a focal point for one of our customers to analyze its employee on-the-job and off-the-job vehicle risks.  This in turn led this organization to develop a driver safety program for all employees, replacing the previous standard of special training and accountabilities for those who annually drove 2,000 miles or more in a company vehicle.
The small continuous improvement PVI (Preventable Vehicle Incidents) team dedicated to vehicle safety came up with the following:

  • A circle check to insure the fitness of the vehicle with mandatory magnets one on each side of vehicle (one has the Journey Management Tool on it)
  • A journey management tool (pre drive personal tailboard) question system that evaluates the fitness of the driver for the upcoming drive
  • Full defensive driver training for all drivers – not just those with > 3,600 km/yr behind the wheel company drive time
  • Annual driver refresher training for all employees

Is it time for you to consider something similar for your employees?

The Doc 

1 comment:

  1. I would have to attest and agree that yes, driving is the highest risk activity at work. Along those lines I have to promote and support the Inter Vehicle Monitoring Systems that are available today. But alas, it's how the company uses the Security information from the Units...

    Similar to the data collected by Google Earth, these IVMS systems are able to 'know' what the speed limit is, on which ever road your company vehicle is travelling. Nearly accurate to the signs location within 5 meters.
    Again, I thought I was a good driver (20 years) until I started using one of these units in my company vehicle.
    Monitoring, acceleration and deceleration rates, as well as seat belt, location, and Speed have significantly improved my driving habits. How often do we ramp onto an interstate and speed up to the usual +15 mph over the limit along with everyone else, barring 2-3 'slow' drivers? Now, I'm one of those slow drivers actually adhering to the law.

    I realize just how irresponsible so many companies truly are on our highways and in our communities when I'm driving the posted Speed Limit and a rolling corporate bill board passes me, for no reason, threatening everybody one the road.


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