When Traffic Safety & Workplace Safety Collide

It’s important for employers to recognize that for many workers, driving is the most dangerous part of their day.

Seatbelts are the focus of SGI’s monthly traffic safety spotlight, and this isn’t surprising.  Last year during their seatbelt blitz, police reported more than 4,700 offenses for failing to wear a seatbelt or not using the appropriate car seat for kids.  People not buckled up or improperly restrained resulted in 148 injuries in Saskatchewan last year.

For the full news article from SGI, visit their website.

But what does that have to do with the service and hospitality industries?  The industry is not immune to traffic safety injuries.  In fact, over the last three years, there have been 69 workplace injuries and one fatality due to transportation accidents.

Some occupations that can include driving as a job duty are:

  • Home care workers

  • Taxi drivers

  • Shuttle drivers

  • Commercial laundry customer service representatives

  • Detective, investigation, and security personnel

  • Mobile health services

  • Restaurant delivery drivers and caterers

As the employer, you have a legal responsibility to protect the health and safety of these workers, while they are working for you.  Having workers who drive (and are not present on your worksite throughout the day), can cause additional challenges such as:

  • Increased difficulty to supervise and observe the work and worker

  • The dynamic nature of driving (conditions continually change)

  • Decreased ability to control the work (e.g. stopping work in dangerous conditions)

What can you do, as the employer, to improve your workers’ traffic safety?

Step 1: Conduct a hazard assessment.  From your assessment of the job, you can to determine what controls are required. It’s challenging to observe and supervise drivers on a regular basis.  Make things clear for your workers by scheduling regular check-ins and advise workers when to report to their supervisor. For example, this may be at the start/end of their shifts, or when they encounter bad weather, an accident, or an angry customer.

Step 2: Establish the following rules, procedures, and processes:

  • Safety rules about driving

  • Emergency procedures for driving (e.g. in case of an accident, who to contact)

  • Incident reporting (e.g. in case of a near miss, how to report)

  • Safe work procedures

    • Working alone

    • Preventing workplace violence

    • When / how to report unsafe road conditions

    • Winter driving

For many professions, being on the road is the most dangerous part of the day.  Increase the chances of you and your workers staying safe by following our advice above and buckling up your seatbelt! #MakeItClick



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