OSHA has announced an education campaign calling on employers to prevent work-related distracted driving, with a special focus on prohibiting texting while driving.
Part of OSHA's education outreach is a new web page aimed at employees who drive on the job and their employers.
This online resource informs employees of their rights and employers of their responsibility to provide a safe workplace, and it offers best practices and policies on achieving safe workplaces in motor vehicles.
An open letter to employers, also posted online, asks companies to examine their policies and practices and to remove any incentives that may motivate employees to text while behind the wheel.
According to OSHA, companies are in violation of the OSH Act if, by policy or practice, they require texting while driving, create incentives that encourage or condone it, or structure work so that texting is a practical necessity for workers to carry out their jobs.
The Transportation Department reports that in 2009 more than 5,400 people died in crashes linked to distraction and thousands more were injured. Thirty states now ban text messaging for all drivers.