Business Pulse: How CDC Keeps Workers Safe on the Road

How can employers prevent vehicle crashes, which are the leading cause of injury death at work? Crash risk affects workers in all industries and occupations, whether they drive heavy or light vehicles, and whether driving is their main or incidental job. Consistent with progress seen in the general population, at-work crash deaths declined starting in 2009, but these improvements have not been sustained. In addition to having a devastating impact on workers and their families, friends and communities, workplace crashes are costly. In 2013 alone, on-the-job motor vehicle crashes cost U.S. employers $25 billion. 

To underscore the impact of workplace crashes, and to share actions employers can take to protect their workers in the United States and abroad, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and National Center for Injury Prevention and Control joined with the CDC Foundation to launch Business Pulse: Motor Vehicle Safety at Work. The issue highlights the complexities of motor vehicle crashes, and describes an effective multi-pronged approach employers can take to protect workers who drive. 

For businesses, preventing workplace crashes starts with a thorough assessment of the risks drivers may face while doing their jobs, and making sure these risks are addressed through policies and programs. Businesses with strong road safety performance often use a variety of strategies to address a single issue. For example, a policy requiring all vehicle occupants to use a seat belt may be accompanied by a worker education campaign. The seat-belt policy may also be supported by use of in-vehicle monitoring systems to identify unsafe driving and correct it through coaching, or by buying company vehicles with seat-belt interlocks. Some companies even provide information on the value of using a seat belt for workers to share with their families.

We encourage employers, and everyone with an interest in vehicle safety, to explore Business Pulse: Motor Vehicle Safety at Work for information on the human and economic impact of workplace crashes, policy checklists, and additional information to help businesses keep workers safe on the road. 

 

 

 


Stephanie Pratt, PhD, is director of CDC’s NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety.