‘This is important for companies to develop culture for road safety among its employees’- FICCI
In year 2016 nearly 1.5 lakh people died and many more were injured as a result of accidents on India roads. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), road traffic injuries are the seventh leading cause of death in India. India accounts for 10% of global road deaths. During the calendar year 2016, there were close to 4.8 lakh road accidents in India, or one road accident every minute and one road accident related death every 4 minutes.
25% road accidents primarily happen during work-related commute. This should make corporates more serious about the road safety of their employees. Road crash injuries / fatalities impact the personal, social and economic lives. While direct financial losses due to accidents can be measured, indirect costs resulting from a victim’s inability to continue earning is difficult to measure and empathize.
According to a study by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) covering 19 Asia-Pacific countries, the impact of road accidents on the Indian economy was 3% of GDP or over US $58,0004 million in terms of value in the year 2015. India is only behind Japan (US$63,000 million) in terms of value, while in terms of GDP loss it comes behind Iran, which is at 6% (US$30,697 million).
To combat road safety problems, WHO has defined a multi-prong approach for road safety with focus on four E’s: Education, Enforcement, Engineering and Emergency. This is about creating awareness pertaining to road safety rules, ensuring better regulations and compliances to follow traffic rules, improving road infrastructure and ensuring aid to road crash victims in the platinum/golden hour (30/60 minutes after road crash).
Role of corporates in promoting road safety in India across 4 Es
A total of 36% of occupational deaths worldwide are due to road crashes. Investing in road safety programs for employees can benefit corporates by improving employee safety, protecting their own assets, decreasing productivity losses and enhancing the company’s perception in the eyes of its own employees.
It is also important that companies develop a culture that fosters and inspires road safety among its employees.
Employees’ safety is a wide-ranging requirement, and the approach should be practical and collaborative in nature. A simple “Plan, Do, Check, Act” (P-D-C-A) approach can be followed by corporates to ensure their employees’ safety on the road. To manage road safety in the organization under PDCA, prioritize and evaluate risks, consult employees and provide training and information, measure success and deviation of road safety plan, and learn from experience and take actions.
Also, a government-corporate collaboration for road safety initiatives may result in a win-win situation. Wherein the government can benefit from innovation, data, reach and financial resources of businesses while businesses can benefit from safer roads, better laws and vehicle standards for increased road safety of their employees. Mr. G K Pillai Chair, FICCI Committee on Homeland Security said, “FICCI believes that involving India Inc. can further boost the efforts of the government. The United Nations has proclaimed 2011-20 as the Decade of Action on Road Safety, hence there is a need for collective action by the Government, Industry and Civil Society”.