Friday, October 02, 2009

As bad as drunk driving

Yes, it's been a while since posting, but that's a good thing--we've been swamped. We're about to start the big pesticide trial, but I'm taking a breather for an hour to pass along this safety information:

Something that caught my attention yesterday though about the dangers of using your cell phone and driving. It's frightening and a wake-up call to all of us. I know I've been guilty of doing this, but now I'm trying to be better. It's a long story but worth the read. Kudos to Exxon (a company that I usually don't kudo) for doing something about it:


In 2004, Exxon Mobil started asking the same question after it became concerned about the safety of its 90,000 workers and 100,000 contract workers, who drove up to 1.5 million miles each day, said Michael Henderek, the company’s safety executive at the time. The company wanted to know what a ban would do to the bottom line.
“Exxon Mobil is a corporation in which 50 percent of employees are engineers,” said Mr. Henderek. “It’s driven by data.”

The company determined that research equating the dangers of behind-the-wheel multitasking with drunken driving was reliable. So in early 2004, Exxon Mobil ran a pilot project, restricting some employees from using the phone while driving. It found no loss in productivity, and quickly imposed a ban for all workers and contractors.
“To not act was irresponsible,” Mr. Henderek said. “The risk to employees was much greater than any marginal benefit of the productivity you get.”

Exxon Mobil was particularly concerned about its big fuel trucks.

“The last thing you want to have,” Mr. Henderek said, “is an incident between the fuel fleet and the community.”

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