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Safety shouldn’t stop being a priority for safety directors when drivers complete their shift. Nearly three times as many employees are injured off the job than while at work, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Although these injuries aren’t sustained on the job, motor carriers are affected due to sick day pay, loss of productivity and potentially having to find a replacement driver or worker. Help keep your drivers and workers accident free off the job by incorporating home safety tips into your training.

Motor vehicle crashes are one of the most common types of off-the-job accidents. The NSC reports that nearly 36,000 people are killed and more than 3.5 million people are injured in motor vehicle crashes every year. Drivers should follow the same guidelines they do while operating their tractor-trailers and not talk or text on their cell phones while driving personal motor vehicles. They should respect posted speed limits and leave plenty of following distance between themselves and the vehicle in front of them.

Remember, drivers can be injured in a motor vehicle accident even if they aren’t behind the wheel. It can be helpful to offer safety training for drivers’ spouses and children during company safety meetings or other special events. In addition to standard driving safety tips, discuss with family members how to share the road safely with semi-trucks. Highlight dangerous behaviors for motorists near trucks such as not giving them enough room to switch lanes or trying to cut in front of them before a lane change or merge. Explain how long it can take a truck to come to a complete stop and what their following distance should be when behind a truck. For additional tips, visit

Another area to educate your workers on is poisoning, the leading cause of unintentional death in the home.  According to the NSC, the most common poisons include prescription and over-the-counter medications, cleaning products and personal care items. Environmental poisons like carbon monoxide (CO) are also dangerous. Encourage all workers to install battery-operated CO detectors in their homes and to change the batteries regularly per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Slips, trips and falls account for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency room annually, according to the NSC. Common areas for falls include doorways, ramps, cluttered hallways, areas prone to wetness, ladders and stairs. Your workers can help prevent falls by cleaning up spills immediately, securing electrical cords away from traffic areas, removing tripping hazards from stairs and walkways, and using non-skid mats.

In addition to poisoning and falls, fires are another leading cause of home injuries. Workers should make sure they have properly functioning smoke detectors and alarms. Smoke detectors and alarms should be on every floor of the house and tested monthly. Every home needs to have an escape plan, especially if there are multiple floors. Workers should practice the plan regularly with their family and identify a safe meeting place outside of the home.

Water does not work on all fires and can actually spread the fire to surrounding areas, so workers should learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher and keep it in an easily accessible location. The most common type of fire extinguisher is a Class ABC for home use. There is also a Class K used for kitchen fires. When using an extinguisher, workers should practice the PASS method: Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle and Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire. Too many people are injured or killed at home by trying to fight a fire that will quickly get out of control. Remind your workers to call 911 immediately in the event of a fire.

Contact your local fire department for personal and corporate training. They may even be able to conduct an inspection of a home or office to help identify where fire and injury sources are located.

Another off-the-job hazard your workers might not consider is walking or running while wearing headphones. It may seem trivial but it poses more serious dangers than you might expect. In fact, research from the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that serious injuries to pedestrians listening to headphones have more than tripled in six years. Wearing headphones can cause sensory deprivation, blocking out sounds like approaching cars, trucks, trains, or even bicycles, thus increasing the risk of injury.

To help create an off-the-job safety program for your workers and their families, check out the resources available from the National Safety CouncilOklahoma State University and local emergency response services.

  • Categorized in:
  • Driving Techniques
  • Injury Prevention
  • Transportation Safety
  • Slips & Falls
  • Sharing the Road