Eight Hundred-Fifty Thousand settlement in a medical malpractice lawsuit for an eight-year old girl who sustained a brain injury due to the negligent medical treatment View More
OSHA combats employee texting while driving on the job – September 24, 2010
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on Tuesday that they will be beginning an initiative to discourage texting while driving on the job. The initiative was announced by the Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis, as a partnership between OSHA and the U.S. Department of Transportation designed to reduce incidences of distracted driving. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.
Motor vehicle accidents occurring while people are on the job working are a leading cause of worker fatalities and serious injuries. It has also become well recognized that texting while driving has substantially increased the risk of these injuries and deaths.
The President last year issued an executive order on the subject of texting while driving for federal workers and has established the topic as a subject for rulemaking by the Department of Transportation.
The OSHA initiative is designed to be multipronged, including:
A educational campaign for employers encouraging them to prohibit texting while driving and other distracted driving activities.
An open letter on the OSHA website, a showcasing on the site of model employer policies, and encouragement through the site to employers and labor unions and associations to communicate the OSHA message.
Forming alliances with the National Safety Council and other organizations to reach out to employers, especially small employers, to encourage the message to reduce the incidences of distracted driving and texting while driving.
Putting a special emphasis on younger workers.
Investigating issue citations and penalties where necessary to end the dangerous practices if there is a credible complaint of an employer requiring texting while driving.
The Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, Dr. David Michaels added the following: “We call upon all employers to prohibit any work policy or practice that requires or encourages workers to text while driving. ”
Hopefully with this new initiative on the federal level, combined with the growing number of state laws on the subject, the hazard of texting while driving can be eliminated on our roadways.