Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers have a legal responsibility to safeguard drivers at work. This holds true whether they drive full-time or only occasionally to carry out their work, and whether they drive a company vehicle or their own. When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) receives a credible complaint that an employer requires texting while driving or organizes work so that texting is a practical necessity, it will investigate and issue citations and penalties where necessary to end this practice.
Employers should send a clear message to workers and supervisors that the company neither requires nor condones texting while driving. Consider these tips:
- Declare vehicles “text-free zones” and emphasize that commitment to workers, customers, and communities.
- Establish work procedures and rules that do not make it necessary for workers to text while driving in order to carry out their duties.
- Set up clear procedures, times, and places for drivers’ safe use of texting and other technologies for communicating with managers, customers, and others.
- Incorporate safe communication practices into worker orientation and training.
- Eliminate financial and other incentive systems that encourage workers to text while driving.
Useful resources, including a model policy, can be found at http://www.osha.gov/distracted-driving/index.html.
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration; http://www.osha.gov.