Z15 Motor Vehicle Safety

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Z15 Motor Vehicle Safety

traffic-lights-514932_960_720Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of occupational fatalities in the U.S. OSHA regulations do not specifically address vehicle operations safety except within the context of the General Duty Clause. The ANSI/ASSE Z15 Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations standard provides a systematic approach and process to help manage risk as it relates to fleets and fleet safety.

With respect to fleet safety, it is about cost avoidance. Common management goals should include crash avoidance and all of the fatalities, injuries, property damage and expenses that result, as well as economical/efficient operation.

Z15 standard establishes the foundation for identifying the gaps and risks in a company’s fleet safety program as well as the knowledge to help companies mitigate their fleet risks. The standardhas been crafted to easily meld into a management framework that includes hazard recognition, risk assessment and overall risk management.It also provides tools and examples that users of the standard can implement in their own organizations.

If an employer examines how many work hours his/her employees spend behind the wheel, the potential consequences of a bad event, as well as all of the time and expenses involved, sound business practices will dictate the need for a vehicle safety program.

It is much more than handheld cell phones or even texting, although these are the most widely identified sources of driving while distracted. National statistics support the need to address distracted driving in our driver education and training efforts. Studies from around the world tell us the same thing: a driver not focused on the activity of driving is a hazard.

If an organization does not have a vehicle safety program, Z15 it provides a good outline of what the company needs to include in a program or policy from the onset. If the company does not have a fleet, the standard provides an overview of safety opportunities for volunteers or employees who operate their personal vehicles for organizational business. For an organization that has a vehicle safety program, the standard allows them to audit what is in place against what is considered a best practice or state- of-the-art approach. In all cases, applying better practices will reduce the risk of injury and property damage, and lower operating costs.

The World Health Organization predicts that by 2025 there will be 1 billion motor vehicles in the world, and motor-vehicle-related fatalities will be the third largest cause of unintentional deaths. Z15 gives employers a credible tool that is reflective of best practices and a foundation to which an effective fleet safety program should aspire to. If we do not operate these devices in a safe manner, they will extract an increasingly heavy toll on all of us. After all, we share the same roads.

Tim Healey is the director of safety at Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co. (HSB) where he oversees the occupational safety support of the field-based engineers. Healey is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and he holds an M.B.A. (Transportation) from Golden Gate University.

Bill Hinderks, CSP, CPCU, ARM-P, ALCM, is a senior loss control specialist with Artex Risk Solutions Inc., a subsidiary of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Bill. He holds a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Min- nesota, Duluth.

Terry L. Ketchum is the health, safety and environmental manager for Bayer MaterialScience LLC in Pittsburgh, PA.. Terry holds a B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Youngstown State University.

 
 

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