Only 31% Of Firms Use Telematics To Mitigate The Number One Cause Of Worker Fatalities

The 2015 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, published by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (US BLS), showed that heavy trucks and tractor-trailer trucks accounted for 745 workplace injuries – the most of any occupation in that year. Add in sales drivers and other employees required to drive, and that count jumps to 885. An adjacent fatality metric, roadway incident fatalities, jumped 9% between 2014 and 2015 and accounted for over one-quarter of all occupational fatalities in 2015. If cut by industry, the US BLS shows that transportation incidents were the leading cause of fatalities for 72% of private industries. Note that these statistics all hail from the US, a country with strict vehicle safety standards and a relatively safe driving environment; what this data therefore tells us is that driver safety is a significant problem with major room for improvement. To help mitigate this risk, fleet managers and EHS leaders have for years used a variety of vehicle safety devices, some of which are considered telematics.

Telematics devices are those that merge informatics and telecommunications, most commonly for the purpose of individual driver and fleet safety. Inputs can include location data, speed and distance metrics, driver condition information, and vehicle properties, and the resulting data analysis via the telematics software can shed light on driver mistakes, logistical efficiency opportunities, driver fatigue, vehicle wear hazards, and compliance with relevant transportation regulations such as the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate. Major telematics firms include the likes of AirIQ, Fleetmatics, MiX Telematocs, Omnitracs, and even consumer GPS brand TomTom. According to the Verdantix EHS Global Leaders Survey, 301 senior EHS decision makers reported that 31% of firms have rolled out telematics to some extent, while 9% are leveraging telematics in all useful scenarios. Many safety leaders have focused their efforts on factories, plants, and field work for years, but there is obvious work to do outside of the fence line.

Telematics Infographic