Remembering Canada’s road crash victims

In Canada, the third Wednesday each November is set aside as the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims. It is a day to remember and honour Canadians killed and injured in often preventable road crashes, and the families, friends and colleagues left to deal with sudden and unexpected loss or suffering.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of Canadians to remember on this day. On average, five people die on Canada’s roads each day. In BC, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of traumatic work-related fatalities killing 21 workers each year on average and injuring 1,280 more.[1]

Road safety is a shared responsibility

From an occupational driving perspective, employers, supervisors and employees share responsibility for preventing work-related crashes.

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of workers, including when they drive for work. They have a duty to establish, implement and monitor policies and procedures that have a positive influence on their employees’ driving behaviours and attitudes.

Supervisors must make sure that the workers who report to them know about the driving-related hazards they may encounter, and what driving practices they are to apply to minimize exposure to those hazards.

Employees have a responsibility to protect their own safety when they are driving for work. That includes knowing and following traffic laws and the company’s safe-driving procedures. Workers can also contribute to road safety by taking an active role in joint safety committees and by refusing driving assignments that are unsafe.

Take action

The National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims is a day to honour the victims of preventable crashes. It’s also a day to take stock of workplace road safety initiatives and decide what you will do to improve the safety of your employees and other road users.

To get help, visit Road Safety at Work. The website offers tools, resources, workshops and online courses that help employers, supervisors and employees deliver on their responsibilities to reduce the risk of being involved in a serious, or fatal, motor vehicle crash.

[1] Source: WorkSafeBC. Statistical Services for the five-year period 2012-2016.

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