In advance of Drive Safely Work Week in early October, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has released its 2014 Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW) tool kit. NETS is calling on leaders of companies and organizations to adopt elements of road safety for all employees—not just business drivers— as a core component of the organization's safety culture.
The 2014 Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW) tool kit, themed "Driving your safety culture home," builds the case for executive leadership to adopt safe driving as a part of the corporate safety culture and provides low-cost steps to engage employees with a starting point focused on seat belts and mobile device use while driving. The campaign was developed by NETS, a partnership of private-sector companies and the federal government, using the expertise of NETS' member companies. NETS members collectively represent a fleet of more than 600,000 vehicles that travel in excess of 11 billion miles globally each year.
"Whether driving for work, commuting to and from work or running errands after the workday is done, the time spent behind the wheel is very likely the most dangerous part of an employee's day," said Joseph McKillips, sr. manager, Commercial Program Support, Global Environment, Health, and Safety for Abbott and chairman of NETS. "Addressing road safety in the workplace for all employees is the right thing to do and beneficial to an organization's bottom line."
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death on the job and the second-leading cause of unintentional fatal injuries off the job, according to the National Safety Council's latest Injury Facts report.
"Traffic crashes are a common yet highly preventable issue for employers, and building a safety culture can be a lengthy and challenging process," added McKillips. "The Drive Safely Work Week campaign provides tools and resources specifically designed to engage leadership to help employers take meaningful action."
The human and economic costs of traffic crashes is significant. According to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the annual economic cost of crashes is $277 billion or nearly $900 for each person living in the U.S. With nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population part of the workforce, extending road safety programs to all employees would make driving safer throughout the U.S. and lower the cost of crashes.
The free DSWW tool kit is available for download via the NETS website and provides easy-to-use Web-based resources that include campaign graphics and materials targeted to leadership as well as the employee base.
Drive Safely Work Week is October 6-10, 2014 and is observed annually during the first week of October. However, the materials are not dated and may be used anytime throughout the year. In recent years, an average of 3500 organizations have participated annually, representing 16.5 million employees per year. The 2014 DSWW toolkit may be downloaded at no cost via the NETS Website at www.trafficsafety.org.
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