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When it comes to reducing the chances of death or injury in an accident, there is nothing more effective than the seat belt. Wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of injury by 45 percent and restrains an operator from leaving the sweeper through ejection or having a violent impact inside the sweeper itself during a crash.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that up to 40 percent of all workplace fatalities are due to motor vehicle accidents, making it the most common workplace fatality. But even knowing this, we found out through a quick Facebook poll that only about 50 percent of sweeper operators wear their seatbelts.

These were some of the reasons for not wearing a seatbelt:

Seatbelt are uncomfortable and restrict movement.

A Transportation Research Board study on commercial drivers’ safety belt use found many drivers actually do not find wearing safety belts to be uncomfortable or restrictive of their movements once they correctly adjusted the seat, lap, and shoulder.

Wearing a seatbelt is a personal decision that doesn’t affect anyone else.

Not wearing a safety belt can certainly affect your family, loved ones and your employer. Wearing a safety belt can help you avoid losing control of your truck in a crash. And it’s also the Law; Federal law requires any driver of a commercial vehicle to wear the seat belt at all times.

It takes too much time to fasten my seatbelt 30 times a day.

Buckling up takes about three seconds. Even buckling up 30 times a day requires only a minute and a half.

Good operators don’t need to wear seatbelts.

True. Good operators usually don’t cause collisions. But at some point during your career, you will be involved in a crash caused by a bad driver, bad weather, mechanical failure, or tire blowout. None of which were your fault.

Seatbelts aren’t necessary for low-speeds.

It’s a simple calculation. In a frontal collision, an unbelted person continues to move forward, causing him or her to hit the frontal interior components such as the steering wheel, control panel, or windshield at the speed he or she was traveling.

To translate that to some of the typical sweeping speeds:

– A 10 mph impact would be equivalent to a fall off of a 3.3 feet desk.
– A 15 mph impact is equivalent to falling from a 7.5 feet ladder.
– And traveling at a speed of only 30 mph has the same velocity as falling from the top of a three-story building.

But luckily more and more contractors are starting to have safety policies in place that require operators to wear their seatbelts at all times. And many of those contractors follow a zero-tolerance policy, meaning if you are caught one time without your seatbelt, you will lose your privileges to sweep and even lose your job.

Buckling up your seatbelt is the simplest, easiest and most effective step you can take toward helping to protect your life.

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