Forever Young is Getting Old
Young people are not as invincible as they appear. According to a study by the CDC, in a span of just seven years (2003 to 2010), a total of 843 employees aged 16 to 24 were involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents. That number accounted for about 22% of all workplace deaths in that age group. Overall, teens and young adults lead all other age brackets in terms of motor vehicle crash rates. Those figures have led to calls for stricter rules. However, rules have always been in place. For work related incidents, are employers themselves being loose on implementing certain motor vehicle policies? It’s been clearly stated on the federal child labor law that workers under 18 years of age need to follow some very specific guidelines before they can be allowed to drive on the job. The topic itself is also covered on OSHA 10-hour course online, which is an excellent reference for OSHA policies and guidelines, and a great tool to reinforce workplace safety programs. After all, as the young age group indicate, many accidents are seemingly caused by lack of experience and awareness from the driver’s part. Although the federal law allows young adult to drive, it can’t be helped that most of them still lack the maturity and driving experience of their older workmates. They’re also more inclined to display driving behaviors that put them in danger, such as neglecting to wear seat belts and driving while being distracted. In order to address this, companies can be more assertive in monitoring their drivers and their equipment, and also become more consistent on implementing existing policies about motor vehicle safety. To give a few examples, the management can:
- Limit driving a motor vehicle to workers 18 years of age and older
- Develop, implement, and ensure company-wide compliance with written standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all vehicle operations.
- Provide a comprehensive and periodical driver training.
- Ensure that vehicles and other equipment are in excellent working condition.
- Encourage the drivers to take advantage of all the resources about road safety that’s available in the workplace.