Road traffic accidents involving employees commuting to and from work are among the leading causes of work-related injuries and deaths in Malaysia, says Road Safety Council member Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
He pointed out that the traffic accident death rate of 6,000 to 7,000 yearly is very high for a small country like Malaysia, and said he hopes that employers and employees would take note of the sobering statistics, reported New Straits Times.
“In particular, employers have a duty to protect their employees and other road users by managing occupational roads to reduce business losses which arise from ‘at work’ road accidents.
“In this connection, employers have a role to play in developing and implementing comprehensive safety procedures and programmes for the workplace to reduce accidents, deaths and injuries, including by training their employees to be competent drivers and riders,” he said in a statement.
He suggested several measures which employers could take to promote road safety. These include establishing a written policy requiring drivers and motorcyclists to undergo safe driving and riding practices; ensuring proper use of vehicle safety features; and conducting background checks on prospective drivers before they are hired.
He added, “Employers must ensure that drivers and motorcyclists in their employ comply with designated speed limits and do not permit them to drive while tired; ensure and establish written procedures in respect of proper maintenance of all vehicles owned by employers; and ensure workers use appropriate barriers and traffic control efforts while work is being performed on roads.
“Also, conduct defensive driving and riding courses to minimise accidents; do not use mobile phones while driving or riding; and conduct random drug tests on all bus drivers to ensure safety of their passengers.”
Mr Lee said employers “should always review the road safety standards of their organisations”.
Employers who take action to promote the safety of their staff while driving or riding will achieve major cost savings, improve their image and make a significant contribution to meeting road safety targets,” he added.