NSC Commends DOL, OSHA for Action on Distracted Driving

The National Safety Council recently applauded Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels for their leadership in reducing work-related distracted driving. Solis on Sept. 21 announced several actions to address distracted driving for workers, such as OSHA investigating and issuing citations and penalties where necessary to end the practice when OSHA receives a credible complaint that an employer requires texting while driving.

Other actions announced by Solis include an education campaign for employers, providing resources for employers to enact distracted driving policies, and special outreach to younger workers.

"Secretary Solis and Assistant Secretary Michaels have issued a wake-up call to employers who require their employees to engage in distracting activities while driving," said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of NSC. "This is an important reminder to employers that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of on-the-job deaths and distractions involving wireless devices are a leading cause of crashes."

Froetscher added that about 500 NSC member companies currently have policies banning all use of cell phones while driving by their employees.

"As Secretary Solis noted in her announcement, the OSHA Act clearly states that employers must provide a workplace free of recognized hazards," Froetscher said. "Sending or reading text messages and e-mails while driving are clearly recognized hazards. We applaud the Labor Department and OSHA for providing guidance on this issue. We are pleased to support OSHA in its outreach efforts."

NSC provides information and resources, including a free cell phone policy kit, to assist employers in implementing effective distracted driving policies. For more information or resources, see www.distracteddriving.nsc.org.

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