Did you know that employers have to shell out about $60 billion each year for on-the-job motor vehicle crashes? That’s the estimated cost from the National Safety Council (NSC) and includes costs for medical care, legal expenses, property damage and lost productivity. Workers’ compensation costs, Social Security costs, and private health care and disability insurance premiums can also go up.
With so much to lose, employers have a vested interest in doing everything they can to keep their workers safe from workplace accidents in Virginia when they have to drive as a part of their job. Employers who fail to adequately protect their workers can expect to pay on average $16,500 workers involved in a crash. If the worker is injured in the crash, the expense rises to $74,000 – per worker. A worker killed in an on-the-job crash will cost employers on average over $500,000.
What should employers be doing to not only save money but more importantly keep their employees safe from work related motor vehicle crashes? Here are ten steps that can be taken to protect workers who use vehicles as part of their job:
- Establish clear traffic safety policies that can be enforced, and ensure that local, state and federal laws are incorporated. Communicate these policies to employees, and follow up on enforcement whenever necessary.
- Policies should include a way to report and record vehicle accidents and investigation results. Require that all crashes be reported and investigated, no matter how trivial.
- Include policies that outline consequences of causing or being involved in a motor vehicle accident on the job.
- Establish a driver training and communication program to ensure that all employees who drive are trained appropriately.
- Check the driving record of all employees who will be behind the wheel as a part of their employment. Check all new employees and also periodically check the records of existing employees.
- Ask employees who drive for work to sign a contract to ensure they understand company policy.
- Perform regular inspections and maintenance on company vehicles to ensure that they are safe to drive.
- Establish a reward system for drivers who maintain a safe driving record.
If you were hurt on the job in Virginia, then you may be entitled to receive compensation regardless of who was at fault. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand your rights and what you are entitled to receive after a crash. Please contact the Warrenton or Culpeper law offices of Duaney, Lauer & Thomas LLP to discuss your workplace injury case with one of our lawyers for no cost or obligation.
DULANEY, LAUER & THOMAS, LLP
98 Alexandria Pike, Suite 11
Warrenton, VA 20186
Toll Free: 888.907.2631
209 N. West Street
Culpeper, VA 22701
Toll Free: 800.741.1012