First off we have to address the biggest issue. As a business owner you know about OSHA; but have you or any of your business partners really looked into how they can affect your business?
What is OSHA? And how can OSHA help and or affect my business?
Sometimes when you say certain names it brings about a bad connotation, or maybe dry mouth and sweaty palms. But, OSHA can be an asset to many firms because on top of enforcement they also offer a lot of services to make your operation safer for workers and the general public. If you don’t know about OSHA and have never had the experience of dealing with this agency, check out this plain English whitepaper called “What is OSHA and why is it important to your business.”
It is important for business owners to educate themselves and their employees by finding resources which will help them develop a safety culture and help avoid and or mitigate their exposure to loss.
OSHA and the Ohio Texting Law
I know, you have heard it a lot, but it still is a problem. Last Saturday texting while driving became illegal in Ohio. If you have drivers on your auto policy that are under 18 they can be stopped by the police for this. Over 18 and it has to be a secondary ticket, meaning they can check it out if they pull you over for other reasons like speeding.
But, as business owners you have more than a ticket to worry about. If your employee is texting and is involved in an accident, it is the same as if you were in the drivers seat! Take a look at our texting policy paper and make it part of your employees safety culture. Make them aware of the consequences of texting while driving. Cellphone/Electronic Device Policy
So let's break this down into why it these texting and driving laws will be affecting your business:
1) Increased financial risk - Increasing risk without the chance of increasing profits is never a good idea. Not only are your drivers increasing risk of having an accident by being distracted, but your company is being put at a financial risk.
Yes you may incur fines for texting while driving but if there is an accident you may be liable for legislative actions. How would it affect your business if you were sued by 1,2, or 5 people who were involved in an accident caused by your drivers?
2) Decreased productivity - People have a tendency to do the same things wherever they are. If talk a certain way at home, they usually talk that way at work; if they snack at home they want to snack at work; if they are texting while driving they will be texting when they are actually in the business.
Your business probably has times where the driver has to come in the physical office and work. If they are used to texting during work this will probably continue, causing them to take longer to get things done. Often times you will even notice drivers take a quick minute after they park to finish up a text message.
You do the math. Take all your drivers who text, multiply it by the number of destinations, multiply this by an hourly rate if they have one, and this is how much time/money wasted just by them finishing up a quick text message.
3) Future consequences - Insurance companies do a good job of finding potential risks and allowing those who mitigate those risk to benefit. In my own opinion, I see that in the future of insurance there will be higher rates depending on a business's distracted driving policy.
It only makes sense. With so much distracted driving causing accidents, insurance rates are increasing due to claims. Insurance companies will have no choice but to help regulate this. If more organizations mitigate driving risk, then insurance companies will be able to keep costs low, but increased accidents will cause increased premiums.
OSHA is dedicated to health and safety for employees as well as business owners. Read their stance on distracted driving here. As business owners we need to get out of this mindset that "OSHA" means we are in for fines and headaches. If we understand why and how to comply with OSHA requirements we may actually mitigate risks, become more productive and hopefully see discounts from insurance companies.
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