In our last post, I spoke about how advances in safety protocols and products have benefitted us both in and outside of the job. One example is road safety. As I drove by a highway construction contractors truck this weekend, I noticed it had been rolled over onto its roof. From my knowledge of highway and work accidents, I could tell there had not been a fatality or serious injury. The workers had likely walked away. 20 years ago the truck would not have been as well built and they may not have been as lucky.
In 1998 there were 2,583 highway fatalities in Canada. This number stayed quite high until 2008 when deaths started to decline dramatically. In 2016 there were 1,898 fatalities despite Canada growing by 7 million people in that time.
Technology and behavioural changes were behind much of the changes. Unfortunately, the changes could have been much more drastic, and we have a long way to go. For example, airbags started being mandatory in 1997, but trucks which are driven by lots of employees were not required to have airbags until 1998 and fleets took years to change out until now when virtually all employees drive vehicles with Airbags. Airbags reduced the risk of dying by an estimated 30% and as companies and individuals replaced fleets and personal cars, fatalities dropped.
Today we have the capability to add automatic braking for collisions and pedestrians to every car sold in Canada. The sad truth is, the only thing we are mandating today is to have all cars with mandatory lights on by 2021. What? Telsa makes self-driving cars and we only demand automatic light bulbs?
Since 2004 we have known that self-braking cars reduce the number of fatalities by 5%. With improvements in the 14 years of using the technology, we would not only see 94 fewer fatalities but likely twice that number and thousands fewer serious injuries.
Toyota now makes Pedestrian and Collision Avoidance standard features on almost all their fleet vehicles. Ford and other manufacturers are starting to play catchup and are offered on the F150 and other vehicle but in order to keep employees and customers safe, why not feature them on every car.
Now that I understand the importance of safety to my son, my family, I need to apply the same care to my workplace. We also owe it to our community to require the top safety for all employees and citizens. We need the safest options available be it AED’s or vehicles being manufactured. There really are no excuses in 2018.
Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Victoria and a Member of Victoria Marine Search and Rescue. You are invited to subscribe to our employer newsletter or submit your resume.