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Compared to the middle of their shifts, commercial drivers are 26% more likely to exhibit unsafe driving than at the start and 41% at the end of their shift. This was measured by four metrics:

  • Harsh Acceleration
  • Harsh Braking
  • Distracted Driving
  • Tailgating

Since Jan. 1, 2020, 2 million such events were detected in U.S. commercial fleets. Shift lengths ranged from four to 12 hours, but these unsafe trends appeared consistent throughout.

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One statistic that jumps out is harsh acceleration. Harsh acceleration occurs 77% more often during the end of the shift than in the middle. That’s nearly double the frequency at the beginning of a shift relative to the middle (39%). Harsh braking has similar results, with 54% more likely at the end versus 28% at the beginning.

Conversely, distracted driving is 36% more likely during the first part of the shift, which is twice as much as at the middle-to-end difference.

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What factors contribute to the skewed results at the beginning and end of a shift?

  • Increased traffic in cities: Moving from local roads to highways (and vice versa) occurs more frequently at the onset or tail-end of a shift, and there are more opportunities for distraction and traffic in these areas.
  • Last-mile stops: Data shows there are more short trips (likely due to deliveries and last-mile stops) at the beginning and end of shifts, causing drivers to stop and start more frequently, which can create more opportunities for unsafe driving behavior.
  • Driver fatigue: Seven hours of sleep per night is recommended, though 37% of drivers do not hit that goal. That grogginess could dull reactions on the road at the start of the shift. And at the end of the shift, fatigue can creep in.

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By receiving an in-cab alert about harsh braking and accelerating, drivers reduced this risky behavior by 40%. Other actions that could curb risky behaviors include sharing this new data in safety meetings or company electronic communication, as well as providing data to a driver during a coaching session to reinforce the safety trainer’s mentoring.

Tim Spear, is a Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in the construction, oil/petroleum, and landscape industries. Through his consultative and diagnostic approach, he helps clients develop customized programs to meet their risk management needs. Comments and questions are welcome at tspear@gulfshoreinsurance.com

*data used in this article was collected by Samsara.
Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Commercial Lines Top 10 Causes of Disabling InjuriesThe 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index (WSI) found that the most disabling workplace injuries cost more than $59 billion per year.

U.S. businesses spend more than $1 billion per week on the most disabling workplace injuries. Compiled annually,  the Index researched the top 10 causes of the most serious workplace injuries — those that cause employees to miss work for more than five days — and ranked those causes by their direct cost to employers, based on medical and lost-wage expenses.

Top 10 causes of disabling workplace injuries:

Top 10 2020 workplace safety index the top 10 causes of disabling injuries 700b

As businesses reassess and refine business operations, now is a good time to address the many risks that employees can face in the workplace. Liberty Mutual took the Workplace Safety Index (WSI) a step further and broke down the most costly causes of injuries into eight industry-specific reports:

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. We are here to help.

Kim Ovaitte, CPCU, ARM is the Executive Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Gulfshore Insurance.  Also serving as the Construction Practice Leader, Kim works with clients to develop cost effective risk management and claims strategies that dovetail with their insurance program. Comments and questions are welcome at kovaitte@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Commercial Lines Heat IllnessAs we approach the peak heat of the summer season and as employers begin to re-open after months of COVID-19 quarantine, workers may be out of shape, out of practice on workplace safety procedures, and may have to re-breathe hot air through face coverings. As they focus on COVID-19 efforts, employers should remain aware of risks, rule violations, injuries, and heat illness.

Dangers of Hot Environments

Those who work in hot environments could be at risk of heat stress, which can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps or heat rashes. Heat stress can also result in an increased risk of other injuries as workers can get sweaty palms, fogged up safety glasses and dizziness.

The same people at higher risk of contracting COVID-19- those 65 or older, are overweight, or have heart disease or high blood pressure- are also among those at a higher risk of suffering from heat illness and may need a longer time than others to re-acclimate.

Problems with Face Masks

Face masks required for reducing the spread of COVID-19 could cause further problems as mask-associated facial heat complaints may represent any of a variety of effects, including:

  • local dermal effects
  • increased temperature of breathing air
  • elevated core temperature, or
  • psychophysiological responses.

In short, risks of heat stress can worsen with masks which function like scarves by keeping warm air near the body.

Considerations for Employers

Employers with employees susceptible to heat illness should take efforts to minimize exacerbating effects heat may have in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Create and implement a heat illness prevention plan and consider adding additional breaks and water stations to help workers regulate their body temperatures.

Tim Spear, is a Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in the construction, oil/petroleum, and landscape industries. Through his consultative and diagnostic approach, he helps clients develop customized programs to meet their risk management needs. Comments and questions are welcome at tspear@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Commercial Lines Jobsite Safety Guidance During COVID 19

With stay at home and shelter in place restrictions beginning to lift, construction companies are faced with difficult questions that must be addressed as they transition back to normal operations, such as: How can we protect our employees, third-parties, and projects from the disease? First and foremost, we encourage you to create a return to work action plan.

Click here to download an example action plan

The following tips can help reduce the risk of exposure: 

  • Complete a task-based risk assessment/mapping of the project site to determine best strategies for social distancing of at least 6 feet, and ensure staff have face coverings.
  • To the extent tools or equipment must be shared, provide and instruct workers to use alcohol based wipes to clean tools before and after use. When cleaning tools and equipment, workers should consult manufacturer recommendations for proper cleaning techniques and restrictions.
  • Keep in-person meetings (including toolbox talks and safety meetings) as short as possible, limit the number of workers in attendance, and use social distancing practices.
  • Eliminate non-essential visits, such as job tours, vendor demos, etc.
  • Clean and disinfect portable jobsite toilets regularly. Hand sanitizer dispensers should be filled regularly. Frequently-touched items (i.e., door pulls and toilet seats) should be disinfected.

 

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 there are actions you can take to protect other employees, clients, and your business:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting should be done immediately by trained personnel and they must wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face coverings and dispose of gloves after use and wash hands and face when complete.
  • Visibly dirty surfaces shall be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water PRIOR to disinfection.
  • For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol, and EPA-registered disinfectants on List-N should be effective. The CDC recommended bleach solution mixture for cleaning can be found here.
  • Consider wearable technology such as proximity devices worn on hard hats or wrist bands to monitor employee physical distancing and tracing of contacts.
  • PPE: for close contact activities that cannot adjust for physical distancing, consider providing enhanced PPE or a face shield with a face covering while fully considering all the potential OSHA requirements.

 

For further guidance, read through the AIHA Returning to Work: Construction Environment guide.

Please note: Construction companies and vendors should continually monitor global (World Health Organization WHO), federal (CDC), state, and local guidelines for changes in recommendations, disinfection strategies, worker protections and other best management practices.

Amerisure Webinar

Please join us to learn from two of Amerisure’s risk management experts about protecting your workplace from the unique risks posed by COVID-19. We’ll discuss:

  • Your company’s role in responding to the pandemic
  • Initial steps for safely bringing back employees once your facility is open
  • Daily access procedures
  • General employee work practices and controls
  • Protocols for employees while they are traveling

Thursday, May 21 at 2:00 p.m. EDT

Click to register