Thursday, August 05, 2004

Buckle Up, Children

I tell my kids to buckle their seat belts all the time. They used to be good about it, but they seem to be regressing as teen-agers.

OSHA is also very upset about its children workers not buckling up because "Motor vehicle accidents place the health and safety of federal employees at risk daily," according to OSHA Administrator John Henshaw.

"Car and truck crashes are the leading cause of Americans being killed on the job," says NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey W. Runge, MD.

"As part of our responsibility to health and safety in the federal workforce, DOL is committed to promoting successful seat belt programs to all federal agencies." In fact, OSHA is even holding a "motor vehicle safety symposium to drive the message to the federal workforce that wearing seat belts while traveling on business delivers safe employees."

Now, again, I am definitely in favor of seat belts, but:
  • How many motor vehicles fatalities could have been prevented by increased seat-belt use? Does OSHA have any statistics? What about lack of air bags in older vehicles?

  • Will OSHA and the symposium address on-the-job fatigue as a factor in motor vehicle accidents or the fact that the Bush administration passed new regulations that new regulations that increase driving time to 11 hours from 10 hours? (A federal court threw out the rules last month.)

  • Will they address poor motor vehicle maintenance as a factor?

  • Will they address motor vehicle-related fatalities that occur in poorly marked or barricaded highway construction zones?

  • And then there's the problem of all those immigrant workers who insist on cramming into vans and pickup trucks that don't even have seatbelts.
Or maybe it's just easier to blame the whole problem on those stupid kids workers who refuse to use their seatbelts?

Update: If you want to attend the symposium, details are here.