WORK-RELATED motor vehicle incidents (MVI) continue to be the leading cause of traumatic workplace fatalities, accounting for 38 per cent of traumatic work-related deaths in B.C in 2018. That is why Road Safety at Work is launching a campaign to remind employers and workers about the value of an effective road safety program in preventing crashes.
It is estimated that over 65 per cent of B.C. employers have workers who are required to drive for work. Work-related crash injuries are often more severe and result in a longer time off work than other types of workplace injury.
In 2018, the average number of days lost for MVI claims was 83, compared to 54 days lost for all WorkSafeBC claims. Between 2014 and 2018, the average cost for an MVI claim was $45,000, compared to the average cost of $20,000 for all WorkSafeBC time-loss claims.
Whether a truck driver, community health care worker, sales person or a courier, and regardless of vehicle ownership, if an employee is required to drive for work purposes, the employer is legally responsible for the employee’s safety. Workers also have obligations when behind the wheel.
* Identify road safety hazards and assess motor vehicle crash risk for their workers.
* Develop and implement road safety policies, procedures and programs.
* Confirm vehicles are fit for purpose, regularly inspected, and properly maintained.
* Provide workers with instructions, training, supervision and the monitoring necessary to ensure their safety when they’re behind the wheel.
* Follow company road safety policies, procedures and programs.
* Understand and obey traffic laws.
Road Safety at Work is an initiative led by WorkSafeBC, managed by the Justice Institute of BC, and supported by various partner agencies and industries. The campaign aims at eliminating work-related motor vehicle crashes, deaths and injuries in B.C. by offering free online resources and courses — as well as workshops, webinars and advisory services — to help organizations plan, implement and monitor effective road safety programs, such as:
* Motor vehicle crash Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Toolkit
* Understanding Your Road Safety Obligations –This on-line course explains employers’ legal responsibilities and offers practical advice on compliance.
* Plan-Do-Check – Follow this straightforward planning framework to develop a road safety program.
For many employers, work-related driving is the most dangerous task their employees perform, and can result in serious injury or death. Your people are your greatest asset – protect them when they drive for work.
Visit roadsafetyatwork.ca for more information or to access free resources, training and services.
Harry Bains, Minister of Labour, said on Tuesday: “Let’s make this year the safest yet for people who drive as part of their job – because everyone has the right to a safe workplace. I encourage employers to check out WorkSafeBC’s Road Safety at Work, which provides resources to help create safe environments for workers.”
Al Johnson, Vice President, Prevention Services, WorkSafeBC, noted: “Every worker who drives for work deserves to go home safely at the end of the day. Employers need to have an effective road safety program in place that protects workers. This includes training and supervision, while ensuring vehicles are regularly inspected, maintained and safe for the road.”