A large number of workers drive to and from their job everyday. Also, thousands of workers in British Columbia drive while they are on their job – these workers include not only courier and truck drivers but also construction workers, sales people, and OHS consultants like the Safety Solutions at Work team. We dedicate this December newsletter to promote road safety, just because the cargo is too precious to be damaged!
Numerous unexpected factors on the road make driving a potential risk. According to WorkSafeBC statistics, 24 workers were killed each year by occupational motor vehicle crashes on average. For the five years between 2006 and 2010, the cost of claims to WorkSafeBC stemming from car crashes involving workers was almost $42 million.
Safety Solution at Work’s Effort
As a safety consulting company, we believe that managing risks to employees who drive at work requires more than just compliance with traffic rules, which is why Safety Solutions at Work developed and implemented a complete Road Safety Plan. The elements of our Road Safety Plan include:
- Ergonomic scanning of employee’s vehicles, to make sure that the driver’s position is adjusted to the most comfortable level to avoid distraction.
- Dealing with fatigue in driving: employees are encouraged to stop at a safe place (such as parking lot or rest area), set the alarm and nap for 10 to 15 minutes. Most importantly, employees are encouraged to get plenty of sleep before commencing to work.
- Pre-planned journey: setting up appropriate routes, incorporating realistic work schedules, taking into consideration the road and weather conditions.
- Controlling the risk factors from vehicles: Winterization of the vehicle, winter tire change and safety kit inside the car.
- Administrative measures: obtaining of driver’s abstract as part of recruitment process, reviewing of driver’s performance on a regular basis.
Winter Driving Training
On December 23, Safety Solutions at Work did a special training session regarding Winter Driving Technique. The training route is Apex Mountain Road, which is well known as a winter driving challenge with icy and slippery conditions, dense fog and sharp turns.
- Trainer: We were pleased to invite Jacob Larson to introduce the physics of driving and conduct a road test to Safety Solutions at Work employees.
- Trainees: Victoria Baschozk, Phillip Chen, Shannon Haladay
- Training checklist:
- Maintain a safer (i.e. longer) following distance, as it takes longer to stop on a slippery road.
- Hazard perception.
- Speed control. In winter, it is safer to drive slower than the posted speed limits.
- Avoid sudden moves. Break and accelerate slowly. Expect and respond to turns and lane changes well in advance. Avoid sudden steers to prevent spinning.
- Cope with skid. In case of skid, remove foot from accelerator, DO NOT use the brake, and turn steer to the direction of where the rear wheel is sliding to.
- RoadSafetyatWork.ca – an online safety driving tool kit developed by WorkSafeBC.
- CCOHS winter driving tips
- ICBC safe driving tips
Employers have the responsibility to take all reasonable measures to manage and control the risks associated with driving, and ensure that practical steps have been taken to protect workers from harm in the same way as they would for other hazards in the workplace.
Season’s greetings from Safety Solutions at Work!