Volume No. 42
Safe Driving - Are Your Employees
New Telephone Numbers
CONN-OSHA Training Update
Safe Driving– Are Your Employees Competent?
By: John Able, Occupational Safety Training Specialist
Work-related vehicle crashes are the
leading cause of occupational fatalities according to the U.S. Department of
Labor. More than 1,300 deaths per year occurred between 1992 and 2002 while in
2000, work-related crashes accounted for 23% of all occupational deaths.
“Every employer should implement a
professional development strategy that includes driver education, training and
hazard awareness,” notes State Labor Commissioner Shaun B. Cashman. “The cost
of not fostering a safe driving culture through a systematic loss prevention
program can be one of the highest expenses an employer has.”
Developing a sensitive and
professional safe driving culture within the corporate structure is a complex
and extensive mandate. Employers are expected to know the potential dangers and
provide their workers with instruction and training.
However, many times drivers have not
been exposed to safe driving practices, strategies or corporate policies and
they should not be penalized for a lack of training. In other cases the driver
does know safe driving practices but doesn’t act accordingly. This can happen
if a supervisor requires the driver to hurry so the expectations of management
can be met. In these cases, it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure
the driver is supported and not hindered from acting appropriately.
Be respectful of the hazards:
Are you a dangerous driver? Does your
attitude affect the way you drive? Do you:
Roll through stop signs?
Talk on a cell phone while driving?
Eat while driving?
Circle parking lots looking for the
Drive differently when you detect a
According to the Network of Employers
for Traffic Safety (NETS), every five seconds a crash occurs, every seven
seconds a property damage crash occurs, every Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office seconds there is a
traffic-related injury, and every 12 minutes someone in the U.S. dies in a
Who is affected by a motor vehicle
crash? Family, friends, co-workers, employers, clients and customers are all
affected by a crash. You could be only one accident away from disability,
dependence and a dramatic life change. Whether temporary or permanent, this
life-altering event could be in your future if you are not aware of the hazards
of being in a motor vehicle in this day and age.
Experts believe these four skill
areas have the most promise of preventing crashes and subsequent injuries and
fatalities. These skill areas are:
– being aware of hazards is the first
step to reacting appropriately in time. Pay attention to the task at hand,
which is driving. We are experiencing an explosion of driving distractions.
For example, drivers now have a wide variety of devices they can use while
driving, ranging from cellphones to laptops to navigation systems. In addition,
we are living in a world where multi-tasking is expected, even while driving.
By committing to paying attention to the operation of the motor vehicle, we
are increasing our chances of arriving at our destination safely, and on time.
- George Carlin is quoted saying,
“Why is it that everyone driving faster than us is a maniac, and everyone
driving slower than us is an idiot?” By following posted speed limits, we not
only lower our stress level but also set a good example for others to follow.
– maintaining a safe distance from
other vehicles at all times takes practice, skill and patience. Learning the
location of your vehicle’s “blind spots” can help to prevent a crash. Ensuring
you and your vehicle maintain an “exit” route is an example of a behavior that
creates a path to safety in the event of an emergency. Don’t allow yourself to
be boxed in with no way out.
– the ability to handle a motor
vehicle during normal conditions is expected. When you experience adverse
conditions such as extreme dark or light, snow or rain, work zones, school
buses, potholes, large trucks, pedestrians, traffic, or poorly maintained
vehicles, your chances of becoming a statistic rapidly increase. If you are
under the influence, tired or angry, and you find yourself driving in less than
optimum conditions, remove yourself from behind the wheel.
According to a Governors Highway
Safety Association (GHSA) poll in 2003, 77% of the poll respondents believe they
are always safe drivers. However, 85% of those same respondents admitted to
sometimes or frequently exceeding the speed limit by more than five miles per
hour. A sizeable percentage of these same respondents also indicated that they
fail to properly manage distractions such as the radio (69%) and cell phones
(44%) while driving.
The Good News:
Small changes in behavior behind the
wheel can decrease the likelihood of getting in a motor vehicle accident. These
driving skills also increase your chances of survival in the event of a
collision or other mishap.
CONN-OSHA is presenting a new program
titled, Safe Driving - Get There Safely EVERY Time. The program’s goal
is to increase awareness of the need for, and the benefits of safe driving. The
campaign will focus on four important skills that experts feel have the most
promise of preventing crashes and subsequent injuries and fatalities. These
skill areas are:
recognize, and react appropriately to hazards.
speed so it is right for conditions.
safe spacing with other traffic.
vehicle handling skills under a range of road circumstances.
CONN-OSHA will present a three-hour
training seminar that promotes safe driving techniques and behaviors in an
interesting format designed to motivate attendees to immediately assess their
own actions and behaviors.
“This is not just another defensive
driving course,” said CONN-OSHA Director Richard Palo. “Too often, adult drivers
are simply expected to be competent in this area. By offering these seminars,
we are providing a no-cost opportunity for employers to allow staff the
opportunity to experience a driving class.”
The seminar will be offered August 4,
2005, and again on August 24, 2005 just before the back-to-school rush. Visit
our CONN-OSHA Web site at
www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/osha.htm for more information.
Safe Driving Action Items:
Identify an unsafe driving habit
you would like to change within yourself.
Define the technique you will use
to change that habit.
Try to implement at least one thing
you learned by reading this article.
to others about things you learned, or things you are still unsure about.
New Telephone Numbers to be used for
Fatalities and Casualties
This is to alert
Emergency Responders and Public Sector Managers in the state to make note of a
change to the 24 hour Fatality and Casualty Reporting Line in relation to
accidents involving public sector employees i.e.: State Agencies,
Police, Fire, or Municipal employees. The new numbers, (860) 263-6946 (local)
and 1-866-241-4060 (statewide/tollfree) are direct phone lines dedicated to this
purpose at the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety
and Health (CONN-OSHA).
As mandated by law
per the Connecticut General Statutes, Title 31 Sec. 31-374 CONN-OSHA must be
notified of an accident resulting in a fatality or catastrophic event (an
accident involving hospitalization of three or more employees) within 8 hours of
the occurrence. The new telephone numbers are only for fatality/catastrophe
reporting. ALL OTHER BUSINESS should be conducted during normal business hours,
Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. by calling (860) 263-6900. Calls other
than fatality/catastrophe reporting on this line will not be processed.
catastrophic events in the Private Sector should continue to be
reported to Federal OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
Unprotected Skylight Proves Deadly for
Purification Control Facility Worker
The following is
a reconstruction of events using information, statements of witnesses, and facts
from an on site investigation.
of a wastewater treatment facility was in the process of hosing down the
sidewalls of empty aeration basin # 1 in preparation for a curtain wall
installation. He was using two, one and one -half (1½) inch hoses coupled
together that made up an approximate length of forty-eight (48) feet. The hose
was located on a grated catwalk that ran between aeration basin # 1 and
aeration basin # 2. The hose was connected to a standpipe located at the
beginning of the catwalk, beside aeration basin # 1. The superintendent was
apparently pulling the water hose toward the beginning of the catwalk to
continue to wash the walls and finish the cleaning process. He reached the end
of the catwalk and proceeded to pull the hose while walking backwards. At this
time, a hired consultant approached the superintendent to talk to him about a
future project. The consultant noticed that the coupling of the hose the
superintendent was pulling was caught in the grated catwalk. As the consultant
reached down to dislodge the stuck coupling, he looked up and saw the
superintendent falling backward, in the sitting position. The superintendent
fell through a grade level, acrylic domed hatchway/skylight to the concrete
floor nineteen (19) feet below, sustaining fatal craniocerebral trauma.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) General Industry Standard,
29 CFR 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.23 (a)(4) requires the employer to provide skylight screens or fixed
standard railings on all exposed sides to prevent employees from falling
through. It is also recommended the employer inform all employees that
skylights are not strong enough to support a worker and employees should not
stand, walk, or sit on any skylight, guarded or not.
CONN-OSHA Training Update
Roundtable Discussion Group Held on the
third Tuesday of every month
The intent of these free 90-minute workshops is to discuss safety and health
issues in a supportive and informal environment. These meetings cover subjects
ranging from evacuation plans and fire extinguishers to air quality and
ergonomics. The roundtable meetings are held from 8:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
Trucks July 14, 2005
With well over one
million lift trucks in operation today, emphasis must be placed on both operator
and pedestrian safety. This half-day program will help you understand OSHA
safety and health regulations governing these pieces of equipment, in addition
to providing you with assistance in developing training for your lift truck
operators and other affected employees.
There Safely EVERY Time August 4, 2005 and
August 24, 2005
vehicle crashes are the leading cause of occupational fatalities according to
the U.S. Department of Labor. Small changes in behavior behind the wheel can
decrease the likelihood of getting in a motor vehicle accident, and increase
your chances of survival in the event of a collision or other serious event.
The goal of this session is to increase awareness of the need for, and the
benefits of safe driving. The focus will be on four skills that experts feel
have the most promise of preventing crashes if implemented by the driving
Hazard Recognition –
recognize and react appropriately to hazards.
Speed Management – managing speed so it is right
Space Management – maintaining a safe spacing
with other traffic.
Vehicle Handling –
handling skills under a range of road circumstances.
presents safe driving techniques and behaviors in an interesting format designed
to motivate attendees to immediately assess their own actions and
Safety & Health
Management September 8, 2005
Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Division (CONN-OSHA) is
offering a seminar on how to take the guesswork out of workplace safety and
health. The presentation will provide information and handout materials to
enable you to focus on finding solutions, not just identifying problems. You
will be provided with reference materials to take back and refer to that will
assist in your safety & health efforts. Risk managers, human resource
personnel, supervisors, and safety committee members will all benefit from
learning about how a proper perspective on Safety & Health management can
improve your efforts towards reducing costs and injuries.
Recordkeeping - What Does and Does Not Need to be Recorded September 23, 2005
The purpose of
this workshop is to introduce the requirements and procedures related to the
OSHA 300 Log. The class will help develop skills to accurately report
occupational injuries and illnesses. Resources and reference materials will be
provided. The presentation will cover the recording requirements, including a
discussion of the employee/employer relationship, which pre-existing cases can
be limited in the OSHA forms, and exceptions for some categories of injuries and
Management Program (Fleet Safety) October
in a motor vehicle fleet is critical because increased insurance premiums (among
other factors) reduce profits. This impact can be as devastating, if not more,
to smaller fleets! A written safety policy, developed, supported, and enforced
by management should be part of every employer’s overall safety & health
management system. This is an ideal “Part 2” to the “Safe Driving—Get There
Safely EVERY Time” class offered on August 4 and 24, 2005.
free and will be held at 200 Folly Brook Blvd, Wethersfield, CT in
Conference Room A from 9 a.m.—Noon unless otherwise noted.
register for any of these sessions, call John Able at (860) 263-6902, or send an
For a complete
listing of our upcoming training sessions, please visit our web site at
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If you have any questions, contact
Catherine Zinsser at (860) 263-6942.
April 17, 2018