Mark A. Woodward – Senior Loss Prevention Trainer
Missouri Employers Mutual
Vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of fatalities on the job in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In Missouri, the average workers compensation claim for an employee fatality is in the $500,000 range. A single lost-time injury after a vehicle crash can average $35,000. In an effort to combat these types of injuries, fatalities and associated costs, fire departments are encouraged to develop a written seat belt policy that is trained and enforced. Consider developing a written seat belt policy that is a standalone form, instead of burying it in a larger fleet safety program.
Seat belt covers are a relatively new, cheap and effective tool to help increase seat belt awareness and enforce usage. These orange wraps can be affixed to apparatus seat belts. Their bright colors raise awareness and can help in auditing seat belt compliance. Cost for seat belt covers can be anywhere from $3 to $5 each, and some suppliers offer custom logo printing as well. They’re perfect for trucks that have black or dark interiors that sometimes make it difficult for others to verify seat belt usage. Some seat belt wrap designs have reflective tape, making night audits possible as well.
Missouri Employers Mutual, Missouri’s #1 provider of workers compensation insurance, is putting their money where their mouth is. MEM is equipping their policyholders with a fleet exposure, including police, fire and EMS, with seat belt covers. In 2014, 10,000 will be issued to policyholders with a written seat belt policy in place (or develop one) that is trained and enforced. This program is designed to support their seat belt safety efforts and save lives.
Seat belt covers may be a cost effective idea for your fire department or ambulance service to consider. For more information, check out some of these additional seat belt cover resources:
White Dog Promotions (supplier in Missouri)
Hi-Viz Safety Wear