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The safety ladder: developing an evidence-based safety management strategy for small road transport companies

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Traffic accidents account for between 20% and 40% of work-related accidents in industrial countries, and research indicates that road transport companies often have little focus on organisational safety management (OSM). There is thus a huge and largely untapped road safety potential in improving the safety of people who drive in their work, by focusing on OSM. Road transport companies in European countries are often small, however, with limited resources in terms of time, financial resources and competence on road safety. The main aim of the present article is therefore to develop an OSM strategy for small road transport companies. Based on a systematic literature review, taking Norwegian research as its point of departure, the article concludes that four measures seem to be most realistic for small goods-transport businesses, and that these measures seem to have the greatest safety potential. These four measures can be arranged on a ladder, where businesses start at the lowest and most basic level, before proceeding to the next step. While our stepwise safety-ladder approach has not been validated, it is expected that further research would confirm the value of the strategy proposed.
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Keywords: Safety ladder; Work-related driving; organisational safety management; road transport companies; small carriers

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Transport Economics, Oslo, Norway

Publication date: May 4, 2018

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