Driving at Work – Are Corporate Goals of “Zero” Safety Incidents Being Realized?

Fleet Management | 10 November 2020

by Mike Bertamini

According to NIOSH, “Motor vehicle crashes are the 1st or 2nd leading cause of death in every major industry group.”1  Furthermore, “from 2003-2018, more than 29,000 workers in the U.S. died in a work-related motor vehicle crash.”1  Unfortunately, the statement of “zero” safety related incidents is not being realized when it comes to driving at work.

The key to reversing the trend of work related driving life altering events is to ensure your company has assessed and is effectively managing the risks associated with driving.  

Drivers can easily determine if leadership is managing road safety risk.

The risks associated with driving are often normalized because we drive daily.  By normalizing the risks, organizations, from leadership to the drivers, may not perceive something as a risk, may not recognize a risk, may discount the potential severity a risk presents, etc. 

Through an effective risk management program, driving related incidents can be reduced.  Establishing a risk management program starts with leadership agreeing to the corporation’s risk capacity (the risk you can AFFORD to take), risk appetite (the risk you NEED to take) and risk tolerance (the risk you PREFER to take).  To give context to this, here is a simple example of risk management:  When does your company require a damaged windshield to be replaced? 

  1. Once there is a ½ inch crack anywhere in the windshield.
  2. A crack transverse the windshield (either running top to bottom or side to side).
  3. Numerous cracks (spider cracks) in windshield. 
  4. Whatever local legislation states.

Have your answer?  Now, let’s look at why this example can shed light on whether your company has a road safety risk management program in place. Windshields are one of the most important safety features of your vehicle. Why?

  • It creates a back-support for the proper deployment of an airbag.
  • Increases impact resistance.
  • Having a chip or crack in a windshield can result in a loss of structural integrity of a vehicle in the event of a front-end collision.  The windshield of a vehicle acts as a load bearing structure, where an intact windshield will help to transfer the force of a front-end impact down the chassis of a vehicle.
  • Prevents collapse of the vehicle’s roof in a rollover.
  • Prevents ejection of passengers.
  • Prevents glass from shattering during a collision.
  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (features like lane-keeping assistance, automatic emergency braking and collision avoidance are integrated with windshields and) may not function properly.
  • It prevents direct sunshine from harming the skin of the passengers (UV coating).
  • It protects passengers from the external forces around the car.

Has your view changed on how your company is managing road safety risk?  Has your view changed on when a windshield needs to be replaced?                        

A windshield can easily be changed.  The difficult part is knowing when to change the windshield.  An effective risk management program tells you when. 

Invest your time for success! Contact Pioneer Safety Solutions today at 403-700-8844 for your consultation. Or visit us on the web at www.PioneerSafetySolutions.com

Bureau of Labor Statistics [2004-2019]. TABLE A-2. Fatal occupational injuries resulting from transportation incidents and homicides, all United States, 2003-2018.