Does your company have a distracted driving policy?
Everyone is familiar with the statistics regarding motor vehicle accidents in cases of death and serious injury. Having a policy addressing distracted driving just makes sense and is fairly easy to create. Pretty much, your policy needs to steal from Nike’s former ad campaign and state: Just Don’t Do It!
After stating distracted driving is a violation of company policy, spell out what constitutes distracted driving. For your workplace, is it any cellular phone use or is hands-free acceptable? Remember, we’re being realistic here, people are going to talk on their phone and some employers are going to expect it. In the perfect world, your policy could state: Employees must refrain from using cell phones, either hand-held or hands-free, while operating a motor vehicle. Employees must not initiate or respond to phone calls, read or respond to text messages or emails, while driving a passenger or commercial vehicle. How about eating or drinking, reading, using a GPS unit? Address and cover the most common practices at your company.
Let everyone know you are serious about protecting their life by making clear the consequences of violating the policy. Failure to follow company policy may result in… [insert your own consequences such as verbal warning, written warning or dismissal], or the always popular “up to and including termination”.
Get an acknowledgement from your drivers that specifically states they have been advised of the policy, understand the policy and commit to govern their behavior according to policy. Ask for a returned signed copy of the distraction-free driving policy that states the employee fully understands the terms of the policy and agrees to abide by it.
Lastly, encourage all of your professional colleagues, vendors, business partners, and more to do the same. Let’s send everyone home after each work shift in a single, undamaged condition.
Have a safe day!
See other great blog articles such as The Most Cited OSHA Standards and What It Means for All of Us.
Prior to the development of a policy associated with distracted driving it may be helpful to formally conduct a type of hazard analysis and risk assessment. The output of which will be specific engineering and administrative controls that enable the development of a policy specification. In support of HARA there are human factors analyses that deal with loss of situational awareness, workload, human-link interactions.Some risks and mitigations are not as apparent as one would think.
Thank you for sharing such valuable information! Lots of accidents can be avoided simply by refraining from using cell phones while driving, indeed.