Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Distracted Driving: OSHA Expanding General Duty Clause to Include Distracted Driving

Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, David Michaels, recently stated:  “When OSHA receives a credible complaint that an employer requires texting while driving or who organizes work so that texting [while driving] is a practical necessity, we will investigate and where necessary issue citations and penalties to end this practice.” 

A Pew Research poll indicates that some 27% of all adults admit to texting while driving. 
Given the breadth of the comments made by the Assistant Secretary, those employers whose employees travel extensively by automobile, should consider the following:

·         Installation of hands-free devices in employees’ automobiles
·         Explicit written instructions not to text while driving
·         Explicit written directions to pull off the road if one needs to send a text message
·         Include all such instructions in employee handbooks
·         Transmit such instructions to employees when they receive company-issued cell phones
·         Discipline employees who violate the policy
·         Incorporate these instructions into training sessions

Tip of the hat to the New York Labor & Employment Law Report for bringing this to our attention.

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