A provincial safety initiative is reminding workers that the most dangerous thing they may be doing at work is driving – even if they only drive for work occasionally. Road Safety at Work BC, a WorkSafeBC-funded initiative managed by the Justice Institute of BC, is reminding drivers both on and off the job to follow the rules, plan ahead, and know their vehicles. 

A recent survey by Road Safety at Work BC showed only 11 per cent of employers and 26 per cent of employees believed driving for work is dangerous. Numbers show more cause for concern, as from 2017-2021, WorkSafeBC statistics show an average of 20 people were killed in work-related vehicle crashes annually, with another 1,400 injured seriously enough to miss work. A press release by Road Safety at Work BC said running office errands, calling on clients, or travelling to off-site meetings all count as driving for work, and all put workers at risk.

“Driving doesn’t have to be part of your job title or job description for you to be considered to be doing work-related driving,” said Trace Acres, program director for Road Safety at Work. “If you have to drive for any reason as part of your job, whether it’s full time, part time or only occasionally, you’re driving for work.”

With work-related crashes being the leading cause of traumatic workplace death in the province, Road Safety at Work BC is reminding drivers at work to follow the rules, plan their trips and its details in advance, complete a vehicle check before leaving, and build skills and knowledge where they feel uncomfortable. 

According to statistics from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), a total of 1658 vehicles were insured for business use in Merritt, including 227 passenger vehicles 1431 commercial vehicles. The number of vehicles used for business use could be much higher, as other use classifications such as ‘pleasure’ and ‘to-and-from work’ allow up to six days of business use per month. 

Drivers on the job are reminded to exercise caution on the road, and treat the vehicle as an extension of the workplace. Employers are reminded that they are responsible for the safety of employees who drive or ride in a vehicle for work purposes.

“You never know what you might encounter on the road,” said Acres. “Most crashes are preventable if employers provide training, education, and supervision, and workers follow safe driving procedures.”

For more information on Road Safety at Work BC, including safety tips for those who drive at work, visit www.roadsafetyatwork.ca.