Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of death among workers in America. While safety programs and protocols contribute to safer driving practices, drivers are continuing to be distracted behind the wheel. From phone calls to texts to passengers, there is no shortage of opportunity for potential accidents. Therefore, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have worked together to develop a distracted driving initiative to dramatically reduce the frequency of accidents. More importantly, however, is ensuring your commercial autos are secured with a comprehensive Wholesale and Distributor Insurance Package, designed specifically to combat risks that you are likely to encounter.
So, what is the distracted driving initiative?
OSHA strictly prohibits employers from encouraging texting while driving. This means that any procedures or protocols that require workers to answer their phones or connect with clients and coworkers while behind the wheel are not permitted.
While texting itself isn’t specifically listed under these prohibited practices, The General Duty Clause in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) covers distracted driving by stating, “employers must provide a workplace free of serious recognized hazards.” Naturally, as texting and driving has recently been prohibited by various state laws, its potential to cause serious injury or death behind the wheel has been widely recognized. Therefore, all employers must amend their protocols if any of the following apply:
- You require your employees to text and drive.
- It’s a necessity that employees text and drive, even if it is not explicitly stated.
- Financial incentives are provided to those employees who text and drive.
If your business encourages any of the above, you may be subject to fees and penalties by OSHA. Further, as The General Duty Clause does not list texting as a specific requirement, it’s up to you to ensure your employees are safe on the road. Use OSHA’s clause as a guideline to write your own driving safety policy and strictly enforce it.
At Capital Insurance Group, we specialize in protecting the wholesale and distribution sector. With over 35 years of expertise, we have served Southeastern Michigan businesses with quality and affordable solutions. To learn more about the products you need to mitigate risk and protect your employees, contact us today at (888) 296-0418.