Your phone can help you be a safer driver

Safe-Driving-AppIn 2015, distracted driving accounted for nearly nine fatalities each day in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These distractions often stem from our smart phones. We’ve shared tips on how to reduce these distractions, by alerting friends and family that you will be unavailable, setting up your podcast or music before the wheels start rolling, or turning your phone off. Following these tips can help you and your passengers stay safe on the road, but that’s often easier said than done. Now the same technology that has been blamed for distractions behind the wheel is helping drivers be safer on the road, through new apps and built-in features.

Apple recently launched iOS 11, which includes for the first time a safe driving option. When initiated, the “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature will detect when you are driving and will silence your incoming calls or alerts. It can even respond to calls and texts so that you can focus on the road. If you are an iPhone user and have not already updated to the new iOS, make sure to do so to try out Apple’s newest safety feature.

There are also apps on the market to help prevent distracted driving or improve driving behavior. All of the apps covered below have free versions and are available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Take a look at a few that may help you, your employees or your family stay safe on the road.

EverDrive

EverDrive is a telematics app that tracks driving behavior just like an in-vehicle monitoring system, but through a user’s phone. It helps users improve driving behavior by scoring five areas: phone distraction, braking, acceleration, cornering and speeding. Using your phone’s GPS, the app detects when you are driving and tracks your behavior behind the wheel. You can compare scores with friends, coworkers or your family for competition.

EverDrive is developed by DriveWell, which also offers a mobile app solution that can be paired with a mobile tag for your vehicle to give further insight into driver behavior, and includes collision detection.

FleetSafer

FleetSafer is a mobile app that detects driving and puts the device in a safe mode when the vehicle is in motion. Employers can view individual or team driving performance and they can also receive real-time alerts. FleetSafer works as a standalone app using GPS, or can be paired with hardware for greater analytics.

LifeSaver

LifeSaver uses your phone’s GPS to track when your car is in motion and then sets the phone in safe mode. It blocks incoming calls and texts. Parents can download a free driver portal to help track their children’s driving behavior. It alerts parents if their child disables the app while driving, and provides feedback so that parents can reward safe driving performance. LifeSaver also offers a fleet management solution with an available 30-day free trial.

TrueMotion

TrueMotion tracks your driving trips and its free family version allows you to see your family members’ trips as well. Users are scored and have the chance to earn rewards for their safe driving. TrueMotion also offers Mojo, a free app that awards points when you drive safely which can be redeemed for cash or prizes.

Remember that texting and driving is illegal in the state of Texas as of last month. Hands-free devices are allowed but Texas Mutual advocates phone-free driving, because research shows that hands-free devices are still distracting. Safe driving is something that we take seriously and we want to do our part to help you reduce the number of traffic-related claims. We have a no phone policy for our own employees and installed in-vehicle monitoring systems in our company fleet. You can find more safe driving tips for yourself, your family and your employees in the safety resource center of your texasmutual.com account, including e-Learning training modules on safe driving and defensive driving.

Regulatory Roundup, October 27

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.                 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA proceeds with full enforcement of silica standard

Since Sept. 23, OSHA has been offering compliance assistance in lieu of enforcement for employers making a good-faith effort to comply with the construction silica standard. However, as of Oct. 23, the agency is now fully enforcing the standard…MORE

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

NIOSH studies robotics

Sixty-one robot-related worker deaths occurred between 1992 and 2015. NIOSH launched the Center for Occupational Robotics Research in an effort to improve worker safety in this field. The agency will work with academia, industry and government officials to research the advantages and hazards of robot workers and develop guidance…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Employees are open to employers’ help dealing with stress

The American Heart Association researched employee perception of stress programs. The report showed that 73 percent of participants whose employers offered resiliency programs believe their health improved as a result. Additionally, data showed that valued programs include methods for dealing with difficult people, improving physical health, handling pressure and identifying causes of work-related problems…MORE

NYC buckles down on safety training requirements

New York City took construction worker safety into its own hands by passing legislation that will require 100 or more hours of training for anyone working on a permitted construction site. The training includes the OSHA 10 and 30 hour courses as well as several site safety training credits. Anyone violating the new requirements could face up to $5,000 in fines…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, October 20

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA resumes normal operation in Texashardhat gavel

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, OSHA ceased most enforcement actions and focused on compliance assistance and outreach to affected counties. Now, the agency is resuming regular enforcement operations in most of the impacted counties. OSHA will continue to provide compliance assistance and outreach in the most heavily impacted areas…MORE

New information on OSHA’s silica webpage

OSHA updated their silica page to include information on where silica is found and the associated health hazards. The page also contains tabs with information on compliance assistance for the construction, maritime and general industries…MORE

OSHA releases two fact sheets

osha-logoOSHA released new fact sheets on the Zika virus and shipyard competent persons. The Zika virus fact sheet focuses on biomedical laboratory workers and discusses how exposures can occur, best practices and tips for what to do if an exposure occurs. The shipyard competent person fact sheet includes information on determining the safety of a confined space as well as knowledge and skill requirements, and expected tasks for the competent person…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Coalition against increase in poultry production meets with USDA

The poultry industry’s injury rate is currently two times the national average of all industries. However, an industry petition has been brought forward that would increase production speeds from 140 to 175 birds per minute. Poultry workers and officials from nonprofit organizations and unions recently met with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to urge a denial of the petition based on worker safety, animal suffering and consumer protection…MORE

NFPA releases new edition of electrical safety code

FireThe newest electrical code from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), NFPA 70E 2018, is now available. The new version clarifies accountability for electrical safety and addresses job planning, hierarchy of risk controls and risk assessment. The code also includes modified definitions to align with OSHA standards and clarifies terms…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, October 13

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA and ASSE provide protective equipment for companies affected by Hurricane Harvey

OSHA and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) partnered to distribute personal protective equipment and other resources to businesses affected by Hurricane Harvey. The agencies are also pushing businesses to prepare for future crisis situations…MORE

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) 

Pre-shift exam standard delayed

MSHA has delayed the final rule on pre-shift examinations of metal and non-metal mines until June 2, 2018. The rule would require an examination of the workplace before work begins as well as a record of adverse conditions and the dates of corrective actions. Four public hearings will be held and comments are due by Nov. 13…MORE

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC launches opioid awareness campaign

Between 1999 and 2015, overdoses from opioids contributed to more than 183,000 deaths. In response,  the CDC launched the Rx Awareness campaign, which uses videos, graphics, billboards and other advertisements to spotlight risks associated with opioids…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

SAMHSA adds opioids to drug testing panel

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has added four semi-synthetic opioids to the mandatory guidelines for drug testing of federal employees. As of Oct. 1, federal employees are being tested for OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet and Dilaudid. However, positive test results supported by valid prescriptions will not be reported to the agencies…MORE

Forklift safety tips

According to OSHA, 35,000 serious injuries occur each year involving forklifts. This shows why it’s important to follow established safety procedures, including wearing a seatbelt, entering the forklift with three points of contact and not driving with the lift up…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, October 6

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.                 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Another push on Voluntary Protection Programs

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Act was referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee after being introduced on Sept. 27. The programs recognize employers and workers who have implemented effective safety and health programs. OSHA has stated that it seeks to finalize improvements to VPP within the next year…MORE

Rep. DeLauro questions OSHA staffing levels

Rep. Rosa DeLauro sent a letter to Loren Sweatt, OSHA’s acting assistant secretary of labor, regarding the agency’s lack of inspectors. DeLauro pointed out that with the current number of inspectors, every workplace could be visited just once every 159 years. She requested that Sweatt provide thorough data on staffing numbers by the end of October…MORE

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Noise and hearing loss prevention

Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the U.S., but it is 100 percent preventable. NIOSH urges employers and employees to use resources on the agency’s website to learn about the signs of hearing damage and how to prevent it…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Find resources for ergonomics month

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services is urging companies to recognize and reduce the hazards of musculoskeletal disorders. The organization is participating in Global Ergonomics Month by providing educational resources. One of the most prevalent lessons is the 20-8-2 recommendation, which means alternating twenty minutes sitting, eight minutes standing and two minutes moving or stretching…MORE

Crime prevention month tips

The National Crime Prevention Council recognizes Crime Prevention Month each October. Even if retail isn’t your business, there are still important steps that all employers should take to protect their employees and their companies…MORE

Pressure washer safety

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a pressure washer’s spray can cause serious wounds and other injuries. The agency provides several tips for operating a pressure washer safely and treating an injury…MORE

Our commitment to a stronger, safer Texas

TXM for Texas LogoAt Texas Mutual, we are committed to helping you keep your employees safe on the job. When an injury does occur, we are there with compassion to help businesses recover and injured workers get back to a productive life. That compassion, rooted in each of our employees, extends far beyond the 68,000 businesses and 1.4 million employees that count on us for their workers’ compensation coverage. Take a look at the short video below to see the impact we are making.

Texas Mutual has a rich history of giving back to the communities in which we live, and our employees answer the call to help those in need time and time again. The collective impact of our efforts makes a difference for Texas, and that’s why we are introducing TXM for Texas. In many ways, TXM for Texas is the work we have always done and the partnerships we’ve always had. It speaks to our continuous commitment to the safety, wellness and education of our communities – all with the goal of creating a stronger, safer Texas.

Our commitment to you

At Texas Mutual, we view safety, wellness and education as the keys to success for our policyholders and our communities. We work with organizations that share that same commitment to improve the safety of workplaces and prevent injuries, to promote workplace wellness and healthy living, and to encourage education for those entering the workforce and beyond.

TXM for Safety

Safety is at the core of everything we do. Over the past year, Texas Mutual has awarded $1 million in safety grants for TXM policyholders, our employees created safety kits for cub scouts, and we distributed $228,000 to emergency responder organizations. We will continue these efforts to support the safety of our workplaces across the state of Texas.

TXM for Wellness

When your employees are healthy, they are less likely to get injured and more likely to return to work if an injury does occur. In 2017, Texas Mutual offered $1 million in wellness grants to our policyholders, our employees delivered Meals on Wheels, and we raised $52,000 for the MS-150. We know that healthy employees are safer employees, and we’ll continue to do our part to support healthy communities.

TXM for Education

We believe that education supports the strength of this great state. Our employees volunteer with local schools, we partner with colleges to provide safety-related courses, and we provide scholarships for dependents of workers who experienced catastrophic injuries. We advocate for education and will continue to do so to serve our future workforces.

The TXM for Texas difference you will see

In the coming weeks, we will feature each of our focus areas (safety, wellness and education) here on the Texas Mutual Blog. You can also join us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to see our commitment in action. We’ll highlight the compassionate work our employees do, recognize how our nonprofit partners make a difference in people’s lives every day, and share our efforts to make a measurable change in your communities. This is our commitment for a stronger, safer Texas.

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