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ASSE Pleased With New Study Showing Increase in Commercial Vehicle Driver Safety Belt Use

Posted in on Fri, May 6, 2011

For Immediate Release                                              Contact:  Diane Hurns, 847-768-3413, dhurns@asse.org

DES PLAINES, IL (May 6, 2011) – As the 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) fanned out around the world this North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH, May 1-7) Week to reach millions on the importance of work safety, they were pleased to hear that safety belt usage for drivers of all medium and heavy duty trucks and buses rose from 74 percent in 2009 to 78 percent in 2010.

These are the findings of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) 2010 Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Driver Safety Belt Usage Study, an annual survey. The study of 26,830 CMVs and drivers, and 1,929 other occupants found the increase in usage. It also found the usage rate for other occupants of those CMVs increased from 61 percent in 2009 to 64 percent in 2010.

Other key findings found safety belt use was higher in states with primary safety belt use laws (80 percent) than states with secondary safety belt laws (72 percent) and that drivers and other occupants of fleet-owned CMVs was significantly higher than for independent owner-operators (71 percent).

In 2009, more than 4,340 workers died from on-the-job injuries. The number one cause of on-the-job injuries in the U.S. continues to be transportation accidents. ASSE members urge everyone to buckle up as wearing a safety belt can prevent injury and death. A 2007  study found that of the drivers of large trucks killed in traffic crashes that year, 21 percent were not wearing a safety belt, according to police.

The findings of the study were released this week as part of ASSE NAOSH events in Washington, D.C.  NAOSH activities to support work safety and educate the public are held worldwide by individual members and organizations.  NAOSH events with ASSE members, federal and state officials, winners of the 9th annual ASSE kids ‘safety-on-the-job’ poster contest and more were held at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the U.S. Capitol, the National Zoo and the National Gallery of Art. Past NAOSH Week events have included fleet safety classes, ergonomic awareness events, a workplace-oriented one-day free preparedness Web Expo, update on mining safety programs, a laser safety seminar, roadway work zone safety programs, corporate workplace safety and health days, teen worker safety programs, city and state work safety fairs,  symposiums on a variety of topics, projects to assist charities,  personal protective equipment (PPE) fashion shows, and much more. 
The study can be found at  2010 CMV Driver Safety Belt Usage Study . In 2003, the Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Safety Belt Partnership , which ASSE is a member, was created by Secretary Norman Y. Mineta to combat low safety belt use among the nation’s CMV drivers. Other safety belt studies can be found at: CMV Safety Belt Use Overview (PDF);
 2009 Executive Summary; 2008 Executive Summary; and Safety Belt Studies.
 

Founded in 1911 and celebrating its centennial, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety society and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment.  Its 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, healthcare and education.  For more information, please go to www.asse.org ,  www.asse.org/assecenturyofsafety and www.asse.org/naosh11.                                                                                                                                                          –30–



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