Focus on the Drive Newsletter

Spring 2020
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Random Drug Testing Rate Doubled on Jan. 1

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has doubled the number of random drug tests that must be administered to commercial motor vehicle drivers.

The new rate, which took effect Jan. 1, requires a minimum of 50% of CMV drivers to be subject to random controlled substances testing. The rate had been set at 25% since 2016. Meanwhile, the minimum rate for random alcohol testing will remain at 10%.

A drug-free workplace program cannot thrive under a “set it and forget it” philosophy. Employers should review their program and policies yearly to make sure it meets or exceeds minimum standards at the federal, state and local levels.

The National Safety Council offers a free Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit that helps employers understand and respond to the impact of the opioid crisis in the workplace.

NSC is presenting a one-day workshop, Addressing Opioids at Work: From Confusion to Clarity – Creating Your Roadmap, to help employers design and implement a drug-free workplace program. To learn more and register for the June 5 workshop in Pittsburgh, please visit nsc.org/opioidworkshop.

Promote Safe Driving On and Off the Job

Everyone who drives or travels in a motor vehicle as part of the job is at risk of being involved in a crash. In 2018, more than 39,000 people were killed on our roads, primarily due to driver and passenger behavior choices, such as not wearing seat belts, speeding, impairment or distraction. All of these deaths were preventable.

One of the easiest and most cost-effective safety decisions your employees can make is to buckle up. Your policies should state that seat belts must be worn by every occupant in every seat for every trip – no matter how short the distance. Buckling up as a front seat passenger can reduce the fatal risk by 45%. The few extra seconds it takes to put on a seat belt can be the difference between being killed in a crash and surviving it. A fatality crash can be costly to the employer.

Speeding was a factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2018, killing 9,378 – an average of 25 people per day. Speed limits are set by engineers for the safety and operational efficiency that a particular road can allow. That means in less-than-perfect conditions like rain, snow, ice, fog or nighttime driving, employees should drive to conditions, meaning slow down, especially in intersections, transition zones, work zones and school zones. Organizations could consider using fleet management software that monitors speed and other driver behaviors.

Alcohol impairment continues to be one of the biggest safety concerns on our roads, accounting for nearly one-third of all fatalities. Impairment starts with the first drink, which could be a beer at lunch or a single drink at happy hour. Implement policies for company events where alcohol is served; a sober driver is the only possible choice, whether that is a designated employee, a taxi, ride share or public transportation. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs can be impairing as well. If you feel different, you drive different.

Distraction takes many forms, but the newest and largest contributor is distraction from electronics. Drivers should take care of all electronic communications before the trip and focus on the task of driving. Employers should have policies that eliminate the use of distracting devices behind the wheel.

Remind your employees that safe driving is the only kind of driving your policies allow.

Participate in Distracted Driving Awareness Month

In April, double down on distracted driving education by sharing a wealth of free materials dedicated to eliminating injuries and fatalities. Distracted driving results from more than cell phone use behind the wheel; it is anything that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel or your mind off driving.

You can spread the word about distracted driving to employees and their families through:

  • Posters and infographics
  • Videos
  • Fact sheets, a quiz and safety talk
  • Social media posts

Download your materials now and prepare your April campaign to encourage attentive driving, both on and off the job. Every employee should take the Distraction-free Driving Pledge.

How to Make Your Workplace Safer

Worker fatalities are at their highest level in a decade. June is National Safety Month, the perfect time to highlight the leading causes of preventable injury and death at work and elsewhere so we can all be safe and live our fullest lives. Want to get involved to protect your employees and co-workers? Each year, the National Safety Council observes this month by offering free tip sheets, social media graphics and educational articles to employers and the public on four weekly topics. This year’s topics are:

  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Driving Safety
  • Ergonomics
  • Employee Engagement

If your company is an NSC member, you’ll get even more materials each week to increase safety awareness.

You can make a difference by prioritizing safety and getting your employees involved during National Safety Month and beyond. To help, we’re featuring activities this year to motivate your workers. We’ll be offering several great prizes for those who participate, including tickets to the 2020 NSC Congress & Expo!

Sign up now to get a link to your free materials as soon as they’re available later this spring. Register at nsc.org/nsm.

You Can Make a Difference

As the nation’s leading nonprofit safety advocate, the National Safety Council empowers individuals, employers and community leaders with the knowledge and tools needed to reduce risks, and prevent injuries and fatalities. Philanthropy plays a vital role in propelling our mission forward. The Council relies on charitable contributions to:

  • Research the leading causes of preventable fatalities
  • Provide education and training that increases awareness and minimizes risks
  • Implement advocacy programs that advance safety and prevention measures

Learn more about how you can be a part of the solution.

Other Resources

Get Data at Injury Facts®
Visit injuryfacts.nsc.org to get the latest injury and fatality data for presentations, benchmarking and more.

Reward Your Safety Professionals
March 27 is the last day to nominate safety professionals for prestigious NSC awards. Learn more and nominate someone at nsc.org/awards.

Check for Vehicle Recalls
Over 53 million vehicles have open recalls. The free website, checktoprotect.org, helps you ensure fleet and employee vehicles are recall-free.

Driver Safety Training
National Safety Council is a leader in driver safety training. Keep your employees safe on and off the job.

Safety Ambassador Program
Help employees bring a safety mindset to their communities. Learn more about the Safety Ambassador Program.

Road to Zero Coalition
Read the report on how we can eliminate roadway deaths by 2050.

Children in Hot Cars Training
Free online training provides vital information about hot car deaths and how to prevent them. Ask employees to take this course at nsc.org/hotcars.

Learn About New Car Safety Technology
Safety systems installed in vehicles now can save lives, if used properly. Learn how at MyCarDoesWhat.org

Safety First Blog
Real-life insights from work and community illustrate the challenges and successes faced by safety professionals at nsc.org/safetyfirstblog.

National Safety Council Policy Positions
Learn our recommendations on safety issues across the spectrum of workplace, impairment and roadway safety at nsc.org/policies.