SS103-1 Work-related road safety: meeting the global challenge

Monday, March 19, 2012: 16:00
Xcaret 2 (Cancun Center)

Stephanie Pratt, United States
  • ICOH.SS103.Pratt.pdf (218.5 kB)
  • Motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are the leading cause of occupational fatalities in most high-income countries and regions, including the United States and the European Union. In many of these locations, work-related crash fatalities are estimated to comprise 30% to 50% of the overall road toll. Statistics on work-related MVCs in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are limited. Deaths or injuries of wage earners affect the well-being of entire families, and work vehicles may have a substantial impact on public safety, especially in LMICs where infrastructure does not separate motorized vehicles from vulnerable road users. In those jurisdictions where government does intervene in work-related road safety, large trucks and buses are covered by transport safety regulations, but lighter vehicles usually fall outside occupational safety and health (OSH) laws. Employer-based policies fill the gap between the protections afforded by traffic laws and OSH regulations and desired levels of road safety performance. Policymakers and employers should recognize the roadway as a workplace, and should integrate road safety into traditional OSH programs. Public and private sectors employers can play a pivotal role in improving road safety by implementing policies that promote safe driving by employees, by communicating road safety information to employees’ families, and by supporting community-based interventions in locations in which they operate.  Substantial global momentum surrounds the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.  The action plan for the Decade rests on five pillars: management, infrastructure, vehicles, road users, and post-crash response.  Work-related road safety is a component of each pillar. Opportunities exist globally to develop focused initiatives to prevent worker injuries from MVCs, to include work-related road safety in broader road safety initiatives, and to harness the resources of the private sector to improve road safety for workers, their families, and communities.