Often times it is the things we do everyday that may pose the greatest threat because of complacency. If you live in Texas, while driving down the highway you may see grim reminders of the death statistics from automobile accidents, whether its due to texting or driving while intoxicated. Texting and driving, and drunk driving are well covered topics. But today we want to add vehicle inspections, and the use of safety belts for our on-the-road safety discussion.
If your company manages a fleet of vehicles, it is no surprise that OSHA requires a vehicle inspection at the beginning of each shift. Checking things like, your braking systems, tires, and lights, etc. should be part of a daily routine. (a complete list of items linked below.) It is good practice to implement a self audit from time-to-time. Review your records, inspection sheets, and observe employee's going through these check lists. It can be easy to rush through a list without thoroughly checking to make sure all is functioning well.
OSHA has released statistics stating that "Traffic crashes are the leading cause of on-the -job fatalities in America". Its a sobering thought, for an everyday activity such as driving. What was the suggested precaution for these accidents? Wearing a safety belt. OSHA states that using a seat belt cuts the risk of death by 45% and yet 20% of the American population still refuses to buckle up, even though this is a nationwide law.
If you are the one driving your crew, or even if it's just yourself, why not make it a habit to not leave until everyone in the vehicle is buckled. Even if you are traveling a short distance.
While these reminders are obvious and even mandatory for the work place, can we implement this in our own personal lives? Have an inspection list for your vehicle, and check these items from time-to-time. Make sure your passengers are buckled. Remind yourself not to drive distracted or sleepy. The solutions are so simple but in the simplicity and the familiarity, we see the danger. This is a reminder we probably all need, drive safe out there. On the job and otherwise!