Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund Encouraging organisations to adopt “Workplace Road Safety” policies

THE majority of vehicles involved in crashes during 2019 were used for private purposes (69%), followed by those that were used for public transportation (13%) and then company/ business transport (10%). The extent of the occupational road safety problem in Namibia is not known due to limitations in records of work related crashes. However, the socio-economic impact of these deaths are immeasurable for the families, the country at sundry, but more specifically to the organisations that lose productive members of their workforce and replacement costs to the company. Therefore, both public and private organisations have a major role to play in the creation of a safe and efficient transport system.

Work related transport refers to professional transport, driving during work hours to-and from meetings, and commuting to and from the place of employment. As companies record increases in their economic activities, their workforce is increasingly forced to spend more time on the road in the course of performing their duties, putting them at direct risk of road crashes. While this places additional risks on the drivers, it also brings to the fore the responsibility of the employers to recognise how crucial road safety is in preventing road crashes and the subsequent injuries and fatalities.

It is therefore important for both employers and their employees to recognise these risks and develop strategies to address them. The direct loss to the workplace as a result of road crashes is high and is manifested in lost wages and disruptions associated with the absence or loss of employees. To be fully effective, a culture of road safety needs to become second-nature in the workplace. Thus, it is through concerted efforts and shared responsibility towards road safety that lives can be preserved and thus management directives and initiatives in respect to workplace strategies should be tangible and of a cooperative nature with a purpose to involve employees and provide a safe driving environment.

On the other hand, it is also imperative for employees to take responsibility of their own safety as well as the safety of other road users. In the same vein, both employees and employers need to adopt a common vision and work together to inculcate workplace road safety in the internal business processes. The road trends provide a clear indication of necessity and feasibility to control work-related road deaths coupled with supportive return-to-work policies.

MVA Fund reiterates that road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Road carnage can only be countered through adopting a culture of safe road usage within every economic sector and government. Therefore, public and private organisations are urged to join road safety stakeholders in efforts to establish a feasible safe workplace road system. For guidance and adoption of workplace road safety initiatives, the MVA Fund’s Accident and Injury Prevention team can lend a helping hand.

In case of a road crash, road users are reminded to call the 24-hr MVA Fund Accident Response Number – 081 9682.