Category Archives: Safety

Who is most likely to be killed by lightning?

From 2006 through 2012, 238 people were struck and killed by lightning in the U.S. Were most of these deaths during leisure or work activities? Were more deaths while people were playing golf or soccer? The National Weather Service (NWS) has tallied statistics and has some advice, too.

Answer 1: Far more people were killed by leisure activities than at work, according to the NWS:

  • 64% leisure activities
  • 17% daily routine
  • 13% work, and
  • 6% of cases unknown.

Daily routine includes walking to or from a vehicle, waiting outdoors for transportation, walking to or from home, and yard work. The breakdown by type of work:

  • 34% farming/ranching
  • 9% construction
  • 9% lawn care
  • 9% roofing
  • 6% working on a barge
  • 6% military, and
  • 25% other.

Included in the other category were deaths related to loading trucks, surveying, door-to-door sales, logging, mail delivery, utility repair and work at an amusement park. Fatalities that occurred when traveling to or from work were categorized as daily routine.

Is golf a big factor?

Answer to our second question: More are killed by lightning while playing soccer than while golfing. Here’s a partial breakdown of leisure activities:

  • 11% fishing (largest number of lightning deaths due to leisure activities)
  • 6% camping
  • 6% boating
  • 5% soccer, and
  • 3% golf.

The common belief that golfers are responsible for the greatest number of lightning deaths was shown to be a myth. Why is that the case?

The NWS “has made a concerted effort to raise lightning awareness in the golf community since we began the campaign in 2001,” said John Jensienius, a lightning safety specialist with the NWS. “We believe our outreach has made a huge difference since lightning-related deaths on golf courses have decreased by 75%.”

In other words: Safety training and education work.

Some advice for outdoor workers from the NWS when thunderstorms threaten:

  • Stay off and away from anything tall or high, including roofs, scaffolding, utility polls and ladders.
  • Stay off and away from large equipment such as bulldozers, cranes, backhoes, track loaders and tractors.
  • Don’t touch materials or surfaces that can conduct electricity, including metal scaffolding, metal equipment, utility lines, water, water pipes and plumbing.
  • Leave areas with explosives or munitions.


If workers hear thunder, they should get to a building or enclosed vehicle.

Advice if someone is struck: Lightning victims don’t carry an electrical charge, are safe to touch and need urgent medical attention. Cardiac arrest is the immediate cause of death. Some deaths can be prevented if the victim receives the proper first aid immediately. Call 9-1-1 and perform CPR if the person isn’t responsive. Use an automated external defibrillator if available.

Tips to Reduce 
Slips, Trips, and Falls in the Workplace

Slips, trips and falls (STFs) are one of the largest causes of injuries in workplaces around the World. In 2010, the United States National Safety Council registered a total of 26,100 fatalities as a result of falls (an increase of 7% from the previous year). In Canada, falls make up the vast majority of injuries suffered by people aged 12 and older and in the UK, over 10,000 workers were injured by STFs in 2011.

With such significant statistics, it is clear the STFs cause a lot of damage to both individuals and businesses, but how can they be reduced in number? While there is no way to eliminate all slips, trips, and falls, it is most definitely possible to reduce both the number, and the severity of such events. Here are six tips to help you keep your workplace on the right track to reducing your employees’ risk of injury.

1. Wear appropriate footwear. Not all shoes will provide you with the traction that you need on every floor. If possible, choose a pair of non-slip shoes.

a. Many new rubber-soled non-slip shoes will still to slip and slide immediately after purchase. Take them out for a 30-minute walk on a rough concrete sidewalk or gravel road to develop some roughness on the sole and improve traction. Alternatively you can take the shoes off and scratch the heels with a rock or even a knife. Doing so will provide the shoe with additional grip that the shoe would otherwise not provide until it becomes broken in.

2. Clean up spills and leaks immediately. If the area of wetness is located on the floor, be sure to place a “wet floor” sign visibly near the area.

3. Ensure that no objects are resting on the floor in designated walkways or open areas. This includes boxes and cases!

4. Never work in the dark. Doing so can increase the chance that you will fail to see slippery areas, objects on the ground, or even a person coming around a corner.

5. Do not climb onto a chair (especially one with wheels!), desk, or other surface in order to reach objects located on high shelves. Instead use a ladder and ask someone to spot you as you climb.

6. Do not carry boxes, crates, or any load that obstructs your line-of-sight. Doing so can cause risk of collision, slip, trip or a fall to yourself, as well as to others that may be walking nearby.
These tips may not completely eliminate STFs in your workplace, but they certainly will help.

Why You Should Enforce Ladder Safety

Ladders might not seem as dangerous as other equipment on the jobsite, but ladder safety should be stressed and reviewed to keep all employees safe and healthy

There are around 724,000 people injured in the U.S. from a ladder-related incident each year.
When your employees use ladders on the construction jobsite, do they give more than a passing thought to ladder safety? As a construction business owner, do you? You and your employees should consider ladder safety just as important as all other areas of safety on a construction jobsite.

Ladder safety statistics:

  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that in the U.S. 724,000 people are injured in a ladder-related incident – nearly 2,000 each day!
  • Little Giant Ladders estimates that 100 of those people injured experience a long-term or permanent disability
  • Several agencies report more than 330 people die each year from ladder accidents
  • Handling injuries (strains and sprains to neck, shoulders, back, knees, ankles, etc.) are the most common type of ladder-related injury on the jobsite

The American Ladder Institute offers a free, online ladder safety training tool for all employees using ladders. The training tool covers the proper selection, care and safe use of all types of ladders. The program outlines safe ladder practices in all applications, including construction sites.

There is also an OSHA standard for ladders and ladder use. In addition, OSHA offers several reference resources for safe ladder use and preventing falls from ladders. While falls from ladders can cause serious injury, it’s important to note that handling injuries can be almost as detrimental to a construction business. If an employee can’t work because of a strain or injury from improper handling of a ladder, the construction business will not only have to worry about the costs but also how to make up for the missing employee and the work that needs to be done.

Do yourself and your employees a favor. Just like with any aspect of safety, make sure anyone using a ladder is properly trained and employees are reminded of ladder safety often to keep best practices top of mind on the jobsite.

Seven Tips to Prevent 
Heart Attacks in the Workplace

With an aging workforce, the danger of a heart attack occurring at work is a constant worry. To help mitigate the risks of heart attack, follow these seven simple steps to keep your workforce happy, healthy, and alive.

Encourage Employees to Spend 30 Minutes Exercising Each Day

Setting aside a small amount of time each day towards physical activity such as taking brisk walks or gardening helps keep the heart muscles strong and reduces stress.

Spend Time in Nature and Create More Office Green Space

Studies have shown that the human body reacts well to natural surroundings. Take steps to reduce blood-pressure including visits to natural places like local parks and add some greenery to your office space.

Educate Employees on the Benefits of a Healthy diet

Ensure that heart health information is readily available for anyone interested and commence a program to educate employees on the effects of sodium, fats, cholesterol, and other substances on both heart and overall health.

Provide Employees with Healthy Meal Options

If you provide snacks to your employees, help them to take care of their hearts by providing heart-friendly options like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains instead of less-healthy options like chips, carbonated drinks, and sweets.

Encourage Regular Health Screenings

High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two major risk factors linked with heart disease. They are also silent dangers because they do not have any visible symptoms. Educate employees on the importance of being checked by a physician for these conditions. Early detection and treatment can help to reduce the risk damaging the heart or blood vessels.

Provide Smoke-Free Areas Around Your Workplace

Many smokers go outside and smoke near the entrance to their workplace. Create non-smoking zones in front of the entrances and exits to your workplace so that your non-smoking employees are not exposed to second-hand smoke while leaving or arriving. Your customers will also thank you!

Take Steps to Reduce Workplace Stress and Anxiety

Sit down (or take a walk) with your employees and discuss how they feel. Employees with chronic stress may be at higher risk of a heart attack and steps should be taken to assist in managing or reducing that stress.

Top 5 Exercises for a Healthy Heart

Heart disease is the number 1 killer in North America and inactivity is one of the major risk factors. Because of this, it’s never too early to start thinking about your cardiovascular health. Here are the top 5 exercises for a healthy heart:

Brisk Walking

Walking doesn’t require special equipment, can be done almost anywhere, and is effective at keeping your heart healthy. In fact, a recent study at the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that walking 30-60 minutes a day can reduce your risk for heart disease by 18%. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that just two hours of walking per week can cut the risk of death from heart disease by 34%.


Running is another heart-healthy activity that the human body is ready-made to do (barring physical limitations or injuries). Also, it is one of the best ways to burn calories (a 150-pound person can burn 100 calories per mile). If you are new to running, start with a brisk walk and add 1 to 2 minutes of running for every 5 minutes of walking. As you progress, you can increase your running until you don’t need to walk in between.

Interval or Circuit Training

Interval training switches from fast to slow throughout an activity and circuit training involves moving from various types of activities. Each is a great way to mix up your cardio. For example, for every 3 minutes of cardio, do 1 strength training exercise or a high-intensity burst of cardio for 1 minute. The key is to move quickly from one exercise to the next so that you keep your heart rate up. This type of training will not only keep you motivated to exercise, it will also improve your muscular strength, endurance, and heart health.


Lap swimming is great for your heart, but is also easy on your joints. The water also provides a multi-directional resistance that will improve your muscular strength and tone. Leisurely swimming doesn’t really get your heart rate up, so be sure to keep a consistent and challenging pace.


Cycling on a regular basis can significantly reduce your risk for coronary heart disease. In fact, the British Medical Association found that cycling 32 kilometers a week reduced the potential to develop heart disease by a whopping 50%. Another benefit is that it uses the large muscle groups in your legs to elevate your heart rate, which helps to improve not only your cardiovascular fitness but also burns more calories, and has even been shown to improve mental health.

No matter what exercise you choose to do, 30 minutes for five days a week is an ideal place to start. Anyone with heart disease or risk factors for developing heart disease or a stroke should seek medical advice before beginning a workout program.

How Safe Is Your Home?


Most fire fatalities occur in your home.

Fire victims die of smoke inhalation, poisonous gases, or lack of oxygen, not from 
severe burns!

Cooking is the leading cause of residential fires and burns.

Careless smoking is still the leading cause of residential fire deaths.


Make sure your family has an escape plan.

Sleep with your door closed.  A closed door provides safety against heat and smoke.

Install a smoke detector in every bedroom and change the batteries twice a year, 
use the time change as a reminder.

Crawl low in smoke.  In a fire, the super heated air and toxic gases fill the room from the top down.  These leaves a “Safety Zone” of breathable air about 12 to 24 inches above the floor.

Have everyone in the household listen to the smoke alarm, so they will be aware of what it sounds like.

Put matches and lighters out of reach of little ones.


Yes / No     All-family members know to dial 9-1-1 for emergencies
Yes / No     There are working smoke detectors in every room
Yes / No     House numbers on your residence
Yes / No     Matches and lighters out of reach of children
Yes / No     Gasoline is kept in a approved container
Yes / No    Electrical cords in good condition and used properly
Yes / No     Fire extinguisher in the house and know how to use them
Yes / No     Change batteries twice a year with the time change
Yes / No     Check smoke detectors at least once a month
Yes / No     Each room in my house has two exits
Yes / No     Do you have a Co2 detector in the house (to check for carbon monoxide 
in your home).
Yes / No     My family developed and practices an emergency escape plan


Ten-Minute Training Topics Distracted Driving Month


“Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. In 2010 alone, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.” – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

“Reaching for a moving object increased the risk of a crash or near-crash by 9 times; looking at an external object by 3.7 times; reading by 3 times; applying makeup by 3 times; dialing a hand-held device (typically a cell phone) by almost 3 times; and talking or listening on a hand-held device by 1.3 times.” – Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI)

“Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event.” – VTTI

“Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  Drivers should expect a greater mention of distracted driving in the press, but they can also expect to see a greater enforcement emphasis by police departments around the country as well.

Distracted driving comes in all shapes and forms – drivers whose focus is on something other than their driving duty are distracted and could become involved in a collision.  There are three main types of driver distraction:

Visual: taking your eyes off the road;

Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and

Cognitive: taking your mind off what you are doing.

We commonly associate talking on a hand-held phone, texting, eating, reading maps, and conducting personal grooming as the activities chiefly responsible for distracted driving crashes.  Recent studies have also measured significant levels of distraction for parents who are taking care of toddlers while they drive.  Just about anything could distract us from driving since experienced drivers have a certain “comfort level” with driving – so much so that it feels like placing the vehicle on “auto pilot”.

Naturally, driving without paying proper attention is very dangerous and can lead to crashes.

Defining the Scope of the Problem

Distractions continue to grow, and youthful (new) drivers are less cautious in their habits.

Consider the following details:
In June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009.

31% of U.S. drivers ages 18-64 reported that they had read or sent text messages or email messages while driving at least once within the 30 days before they were surveyed.

Reading email, surfing the internet and using “apps” on smartphones while behind the wheel are also becoming more common.

Still, electronic distractions, while truly dangerous, are only the tip of a larger distraction iceberg.  Eating while driving may seem tame in comparison since it doesn’t require deep thought, but consider that scalding coffee spilled on your shirt or lap could lead to losing control of your vehicle.  Eating with one hand while trying to avoid getting greasy crumbs on your shirt certainly makes for an impressive “juggling act” while reducing your control of steering – especially if you have to make a panic maneuver.

Applying makeup or shaving on the way to the office takes our eyes off the road and occupies our hand with delicate maneuvering while the other is holding the vehicle in it’s travel lane.

There’s not much wiggle room for mistakes in either case.

Pets as passengers may be nice companions, but their behavior can be unpredictable and they (sorry to say) become airborne missiles during a crash that leave both of you with serious injuries.  Restraints make sense for both your pet’s sake and your own. (This is an additional reason we mandate car seats for infants and toddlers!)

Talk radio can be fun to listen to, but it’s designed to get listeners engaged, enraged and upset.  That’s not a good combination of temperament if you’re behind the wheel – better to find calm music and keep the volume reasonable.

As mentioned earlier, tending to children’s concerns while driving may seem like a necessary evil, but setting simple to follow safety rules for riding in the car may help.  According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, passengers are ranked by drivers as among the most frequent causes of distraction. Young children are four times as distracting as adults, while infants can be a whopping eight times more distracting, the AAA Foundation reports.

Realize that driving while drowsy is a form of impaired or distracted driving!  Getting consistent, quality sleep is critical to keeping you focused when behind the wheel.  Over the counter drugs, prescription medications and the simple ill-effects of colds/flu or chronic conditions can each mess with our focus, too.

What Can I Do?

First of all realize that your first (and only?) job when behind the wheel is paying attention to the road ahead, traffic around you and your position on the roadway.  You’re not in a mobile office or video arcade where you can busy yourself with other activities.  Driving is one of the most complex tasks a person can do during the course of a typical day.  Give it the attention it deserves – even if you’ve been driving for many years.

Consider the list of distracting situations we mentioned above – if any of those seem familiar to you, change your habits now, before your distraction scenario leads to a crash.

Learn about any safety policies your employer may have published – and follow them precisely.  If you have questions, ask a supervisor for clarification so that you’re certain about expectations.

Last, you ought to comply with your state and local laws regarding driver conduct.  Thirty-nine states have a complete ban on texting while driving for all vehicle operators; six have restrictions for certain operators and five currently permit texting while driving Eleven states prohibit hand-held cell phone use; five have partial bans on hand-held cell phone use.  All states allow hands-free conversations, but it’s best to stay off of the phone for two reasons – your employer may forbid all cell phone use while driving (even hands-free), studies suggest that the cognitive distraction is just as great regardless.


There is always a temptation (especially on long drives) to try to get work done or find interesting entertainment while driving.  The trouble is that we can become overconfident in our use of radios, navigation systems or cell phones while driving.  Further, other drivers may take excessive risks: reading, applying makeup, shaving, eating lunch (with both hands) and doing other weird activities while trying to drive a car or truck!

Remember that at only 45 miles per hour, a driver glancing away for two seconds is driving blind for a distance of 132 feet—almost half the length of a football field. As a result, the driver’s reaction time is shortened dramatically.  Looking away from the road, reaching to pick up something from the floor, or letting your attention focus on anything other than driving can have immediate, deadly consequences.  Still, it takes about five seconds of attention to a screen and keyboard to send a brief text. Disturbingly, 77 percent of young adult drivers say they can safely drive while texting

Stay focused.  Plan ahead.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Avoid the temptation to “get lost” in conversations, talk radio programs or respond to aggressive drivers.  Talk to your managers, family and friends about other ways to avoid distraction or inattention while driving.

SafetyFirst has additional information on: Cell Phone Use, Aggressive Drivers and Drowsiness if you have additional questions or concerns.

Backing Up Vehicles Safely

From 2005 to 2010, dump trucks, semi-trailers, trucks, forklifts, garbage trucks and pickup trucks were involved in nearly 200 workplace backover deaths, according to OSHA. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently began collecting specific information on these fatalities and determined that 79 backover deaths occurred on the job in 2011.

A backover incident occurs when a backing vehicle hits a worker who is standing, walking or kneeling behind the vehicle.

The following are examples, recommended by OSHA, of back-over prevention methods:

Spotters: Using a spotter has been proven to keep workers safe. However, spotters also are in danger of being hit by a backing vehicle. Several steps can be taken to help keep workers safe.

  • Before work begins, drivers and spotters should agree on hand signals.
  • Ensure spotters always have visual contact with the driver when a vehicle is in motion.
  • Ensure drivers know to stop immediately if they lose sight of a spotter.
  • Do not give additional duties to spotters.
  • Do not allow spotters to use mobile devices or personal headphones when working.
  • Provide high-visibility clothing for spotters, especially when working at night.


Cameras: OSHA states that most vehicles can accommodate a camera to provide drivers with a view to the rear and other blind spots. When equipping vehicles with cameras, it is important to consider the environment operators work in. Some construction sites and mines may require more rugged cameras, and vehicles such as dump trucks may need two or more cameras to monitor blind spots.

Proximity detection systems: These systems use radar and ultrasonic technology to bounce a signal off an object. The system then alerts the vehicle operator with a visual or audio warning that an object is in the way.

Internal traffic control plan: Create a plan to coordinate the flow of moving equipment, workers and vehicles to help minimize the number of times workers and vehicles cross paths. According to OSHA, these plans can significantly reduce and even eliminate the need for vehicles to back up on a jobsite.

How to Be a More Attentive Driver

by Denise McCluggage

When you are driving a car the “right thing” to pay attention to is driving that car. The intelligent driver is attending to the exterior surroundings (road conditions and traffic flow), the interior situation (controls, instruments, passengers) and to her own mind set (irritated, alert, preoccupied etc.) That is the ideal.

The reality is that the mere physical demands of just driving are limited. Monkeys and teenagers can do that part with ease, even brilliance, but real driving happens in the mind. To do it well requires more than physical skill. It requires the type of intelligence that pays attention to the right thing at the right time, knows what to do in new situations and how to do what is demanded.

The basics of driving — steering and pushing pedals — can soon be emptied of interest. Then, the mind can wander. Why not? It is enticed by a myriad of things both inside the car and out that are more interesting than simply driving.

Inside the car there are A/C or heat controls to fiddle with, music to be listened to, talk radio to yell back at, cell phones to be answered, Big Gulps to be gulped, passenger chatter to exclaim over, maybe even car-seated baby demands to be met.

Outside there’s the fender-bender to be gawked at, the “1/3 off” sign in the shoe store window to be noted, the new building going up to be checked out, the parking place to be looked for. 

Actual driving seems to demand attention only when something dreadful is pending or has already happened: a car jumps the center divide, an SUV runs a stop sign, a truck loses its load of pipe, a sports car scoots from nowhere across your bow for the exit ramp, a dog darts from between parked cars.

Such things all seem to happen with no warning, but truth be told even “suddenly” is part of an evolution. The intelligent driver knows where trouble is likely to lurk and what situations engender; the alert driver can spot problems developing and not be at the epicenter if they materialize.

How can you as a driver cope with the rain of distraction that pounds on you at every moment? How can you be an intelligent driver? “Pay attention!” you are told. Concentrate! But how?
Here are four things that you must recognize that might help you as a driver avoid the pitfalls of distraction.

Recognize the risks of distractions.

The first step is to realize that any distraction carries risk with it. Your world may stop because you dropped the cassette on the floor, but the world you’re driving in keeps motoring on.

Recognize your own signs of distraction. 

As you drive be self-watchful. Learn to spot the indicators that you are bored or inattentive. Have standard checks. What do you notice in your mirrors? What’s on the left of you? The right? If the scene has changed appreciably from the last time you checked you’ve been woolgathering.

Recognize that a distraction is just an attraction elsewhere.

When you see the lights and congestion of an accident in the opposite lane squelch the urge to gawk. Attend instead to maintaining your distance from the cars near you being aware that their drivers could be rubbernecking.

Recognize the inherent limitations of attention.

Good drivers know how to allot their limited attention to stay on top of any given situation. They also know that concentration often flees from efforts to evoke it. It prefers to be attracted to the task rather than forced and so they find something of interest in the daily-ness of driving that draws interest, that keeps the driver involved in the process of driving.

Once you realize how deadly distractions can be to you as a driver, you’ll find new ways to keep your attention focused.

The Six Most Common Distractions

Radio and CD Players:

  • Learn your system well enough to use by touch and sound alone. When buying a car, opt for fingertip controls on the steering wheel and head-up displays for tuning, if available.
  • CD players require less fiddling. Decide your listening mood before you start and load the machine.
  • Take advantage of the push button or scan devices on your sound system. If you are driving alone do your adjustments while stopped.
  • If you have passengers, pre-instruct them in the use of the controls and let them be your trained surrogate while you’re behind the wheel.


  • Ideally, transport small pets in carriers.
  • Check out pet restraint systems to limit injuries to them in crashes.



  • Belt children in appropriate car seats. If you are tempted to belt them in other ways be sure you stop first.
  • Don’t get involved in inter-child arguments or who-started-it polemics. Forget the “Don’t make me stop this car!” threats. Stop the car. Get it settled. You cannot be an upset mother and an alert driver at the same time.
  • Forbid games that involve tossing a ball or anything else that might get under foot and interfere with the controls.
  • Sure, play the alphabet game and the license tag game with them, but don’t keep score. (You might get emotionally involved.)

Oral Fixations:

  • If you have to eat on the go, prepare simple finger foods before you go.
  • Drinks for in-car consumption should be in closed, spill-proof containers to reduce their distraction capability.
  • If you must smoke while driving, wear something that getting burn holes in won’t upset you.

Cell phones:

  • Use a hands-free device for the phone and keep your hands on the wheel.
  • Understand that it is the conversation itself, not the phone that is the most serious distraction. Keep it light, terse and short.
  • Realize that phone use of any kind slows your reaction time thus lengthening braking time so allow other cars more space.

N.J. stiffens distracted driver fines

New Jersey’s offensive against distracted driving continues, as Gov. Chris Christie signed into law significant increases in fines for those who text & drive or use handheld cell phones. Sponsor state Sen. Richard Codey (pictured) greeted the news with tough talk: “Watch out New Jersey drivers, we’re coming after you if you text and drive,” Read more at

Cell Phone/Hand Held Device Use Policy

RAI recognizes that our employees are our most valuable asset, and the most important contributors to our continued growth and success. RAI is firmly committed to the safety of our employees. RAI will do everything possible to prevent workplace accidents and is committed to providing a safe working environment for all employees. To further this goal, RAI has developed a Cell Phone/Hand Held Device Use Policy effective 3/1/2008.
RAI prohibits employees from using a cell phone while operating a vehicle. If as our employee you choose to make calls while driving, you assume the risk for doing so.

Driver inattention is a factor in a majority of motor vehicle accidents. We are not only concerned about your welfare as a RAI employee, but also the welfare of others who could be put in harm’s way by inattentive driving. Mobile phone and other hand held device use while driving is a common, often harmful, distraction. Effective 3/1/2008, NJ signed into law a bill which makes the use of a wireless handheld telephone or electronic device by the operator of a moving vehicle, a primary offense. Many statistics found the risk of having a traffic accident while using a cell phone or similar device to be the same as driving drunk. For these reasons, drivers may not use hand held devices to place work-related or personal calls while operating a vehicle while on company business. As a driver, your first responsibility is to pay attention to the road. When driving on RAI business or driving while conducting business on behalf of the company in any other manner, the following applies:

Definition – Mobile Hand Held Units: Hand held devices may include cell phones, pagers, palm pilots, faxes and other communication devices.

  • Allow voicemail to handle your calls and return them when safe.
  • If you need to place or receive a call, pull off the road to a safe location and stop the vehicle before using your phone.
  • Ask a passenger to make or take the call.
  • Inform regular callers of the best time to reach you based upon your driving schedule.
  • The only exception to this policy is for calls placed to 9-1-1.
  • If placing or accepting an emergency call, keep the call short and use hands-free options, if available.
  • When receiving an emergency call, ask the caller to hold briefly until you can safely pull your vehicle off the road.

Obey the Law:
RAI is not responsible for any cell phone/handheld device, motor vehicle violations, parking tickets, EZ Pass violations, accidents, damage to property including the vehicle or any other city ordinances or state/federal laws regarding your driving habits and operation/care of your RAI operated motor vehicle. Any tickets issued or costs incurred for any of the above are the employee’s responsibility, even if the ticket/fine is issued while conducting business for our company.

Other Safe Driving Precautions:

  • Use better judgment when road conditions are poor. Limit or avoid driving when rain, snow, or other severe weather conditions threaten your safety.
  • Make an effort to avoid distractions such as eating, paying too much attention to your radio/CD player, or other distracting behavior.
  • Do not drive if your ability to drive safety is impaired by the influence of medications, drugs or alcohol.
  • Laptop computers should never be used at any time while driving.
  • If using a vehicle not your own (rental or otherwise), be sure to properly adjust the mirrors and familiarize yourself with the vehicle’s controls before operating.
  • Be concerned for your coworkers’ safety. Ask them to call you back at a safer time if they call you while driving.
  • Be aware of and practice defensive driving techniques and maneuvers.

To: All drivers of RAI
This policy applies to:

  • Vehicles owned, leased or rented to RAI.
  • Personally owned vehicles driven by employees on behalf of RAI.

The following policy has been established to encourage safe operation of vehicles, and clarify insurance issues relating to drivers and RAI.

  • All drivers must adhere to safety policies included vehicle use and cell phone/hand held device use policy.
  • All drivers must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Motor Vehicle Records may be checked periodically. Driving privileges may be suspended or terminated if your record indicates an unacceptable number of accidents or violations.
  • Should your record fall into our insurance carriers guidelines of an, ‘unacceptable driver’, your employment may be terminated.
  • Your supervisor must be notified of any change in your license status or driving record.

If in an accident:

  • Take necessary steps to protect the lives of yourself and others.
  • Comply with Police instructions.
  • Do not assume or admit fault. Others will determine liability and negligence after thorough investigation.
  • Report the accident to RAI as soon as possible.

Contact Us

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