Fatal vehicle crashes are trending downward. But they're still at epidemic levels across the United States. 33,561 deaths were recorded in 2012 (NHTSA 2013). Vehicle crashes have negative effects on the productivity, profitability and safety of the American workforce. Vehicle crashes are not on the regulatory radar though. OSHA is not creating any new action plans for addressing the number one way to be killed on the job. Likewise, there are no new safe driving campaigns or regulatory initiatives for work-related driving. Until now. ANSI Z-15 provides employers, insurers and regulators with a new framework for addressing management systems, policy, driver behaviors and vehicle with the overall goal of reducing fleet crash risk.
The purpose of this paper is to increase awareness about the leading cause of worker fatality in the United States and how organizations can use the ANSI Z-15 standard and methodology to improve safety and reduce fleet incident risk. Federal and state laws are considered "minimum standards". Current strategies aren't having the desired effect, as work-related crashes remain the top cause of worker fatality. The ANSI Z-15 standard provides "above and beyond" safety guidance for all types of fleets, no matter what type of vehicle is driven, type of employer, or range of the fleet. Year after year the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as state workers' compensation reports show that the top cause of on-the-job fatality is vehicle crash.
The following statistics gathered from numerous sources proves that vehicle crash remains the number one cause of worker fatality across the United States:
In Ohio, transportation incidents were the leading cause of worker fatality in 2012, with 39% of fatalities (33 deaths) represented (Ohio BWC 2013).
According to the California Commission on Health and Safety and Worker's Compensation the transportation and material-moving occupation had the greatest number of fatalities in 2012 (CHSWC 2013)