Archive | January, 2014

Driving Safety: What Do The Numbers Say?

25 Jan

Driving and transportation accidents account for the highest percentage of workplace deaths both nationally and in California. Many of my clients have seen their employees injured and costly workers’ compensation claims result.
The November 2013 issue of Traffic Safety Facts, published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) contains some interesting statistics.
driving statistics 2013
As can be seen by the above figure, the total number of fatalities in 2012 rose slightly over the previous year, the first time this has occurred since 2005. 33,561 people lost their lives in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents a 3.3% increase from 2011. However, when those numbers are broken down further here is what we see:
 Both the fatality rate and the injury rate increased over 2011; 3.6% and 6.7% respectively.
 Fatal crashes involving large trucks increased 3.7%
 Total alcohol-impaired driving fatalities rose 3.3%

Driving a vehicle is still likely the most hazardous activity we all do each day. Since the numbers went up from 2011 to 2012 we should take this very seriously; someone dies from a vehicle accident in this country every 16 minutes.
There are steps we can take to decrease the odds of becoming the next statistic.
 Driver training is often forgotten… after all, we all know how to drive, right? Reviewing the basics of speed, following distance, braking technique, driving in adverse weather, distracted driving, and vehicle maintenance issues can be very helpful for any driver regardless of age or experience. Remind employees that arriving safely, even a little late, is far better than risking a crash by speeding, tailgating, or driving aggressively.
 Review your electronic device policy for drivers. Every effort should be made to ensure people are not distracted by cell phones calls or texting while driving. Keep in mind it really doesn’t matter if the phone is handheld or hands free; the cognitive distraction of the conversation is the real hazard.
 Vehicle maintenance is critical for safe operation. Drivers should be completing daily pre-trip inspections and all organizations should have routine maintenance schedules. Tire pressures and tread wear are one of the most important factors in vehicle control so keep a close eye on those.

Thanks to Randy Klatt, MEMIC Safety Director for information on this article

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OSHA Form 300A Is Your Annual Safety Scorecard

12 Jan

All employers with more than 10 employees, with minor exceptions, must keep records of work related injuries. Once a year, from February 1 through April 30, the results of these injuries must be posted at each work location on OSHA Form 300A.
This requirement is an opportunity for employers to measure the effectiveness of their safety program, learn what is working well, and improve.
In California, we call the form Cal/OSHA Form 300A, “Work Related Injuries and Illnesses Summary”. It has really useful information – so don’t just fill it out, post it and forget it. Put the information to use to make your company and your employees safe and safe money as well
You should know that if Cal/OSHA conducts an inspection of your facility, the OSHA inspectors “must obtain copies of the employer’s current 300 report and for the prior three years”. Failure to maintain or produce these reports will lead to an OSHA citation.
You can obtain a copy of the form from Cal/OSHA at: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/doshreg/apndxb300afinal.pdf
For help in completing the OSHA Form 300 A or other reports, just email DonDressler1@hotmail.com.