Work-related car accidents leading cause of death for workers

Many times on this blog we have discussed different hazards in the workplace. Many workplace accidents are caused by equipment use, inexperience, lack of training and safety violations. All of these factors increase the risk for a workplace accident, but there is one type of accident that is the leading cause of death for workers.

Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for workers in the United States. Work-related vehicle accidents impact workers in all types of industries, and workers who drive as part of their job duties have a higher risk of being injured or killed while driving on-the-job.

This week is Drive Safely Work Week, and safety groups and organizations are raising awareness about the importance of safe driving practices for workers on-the-job. The safety week should help employers and workers understand the risks of being in an accident, and what safety steps to take to prevent injuries and fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents.

Car accidents should be taken very seriously as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 35 percent of workplace fatalities are caused by car accidents. The BLS reported that on average, 1,275 workers are killed every year in highway car accidents. In addition, 338 workers are killed in pedestrian-car accidents every year and 311 workers are killed every year due to car accidents on industrial property or on non-highway roads.

What can workplaces do to prevent serious and fatal car accidents? Employers need to proactively educate and create policies that keep workers safe. This includes training workers on safe driving practices and having policies that prohibit cellphone use while driving. It is also important for employers to reinforce the importance of following state traffic laws and safety practices to reduce the work-related car accidents.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Drive Safely Work Week,” Stephanie Pratt, Oct. 5, 2013