ABQ Ride is an organization whose operations are based in New Mexico. The transit company operates in various areas, which include the Rapid Ride semi-BRT among other bus routes. It is considered the most commonly used public transportation system among people living within New Mexico. The popularity of this transport system is based on the affordability of its fare, which is approximately $12 for seniors and high-school students per month to $30 for adults per month.
Role of OSHA and Management of the Situation
Based on the comment of the ABQ Ride employee, the company had not implemented effective safety precautions to protect its customers from accidents that might occur. Some of the roles that OSHA engages in include setting health and safety standards for employee and their workplaces to ensure that they limit risks of accidents. Companies may come up with their standards or might implement those suggested by OSHA. OSHA listens and responds to the complaints raised by workers regarding health and safety issues in their organizations. Their goal entails preventing injuries that might occur in the workplace, illnesses, and deaths that can be prevented (OSHA, 2019). They also provide learning resources and safety training that enables companies to practice better hazard prevention methods.
Some of the risks that passengers who use transit busses face include road accidents, property vandalism and theft, and assault (Litman, 2014). Based on the roles of OSHA, OSHA should contact the leaders of ABQ Ride and question them about the workplace safety precaution that they have implemented. They should offer the company training for the employees on safety precautions that they can consider while driving the transit busses such as adhering to traffic rules and avoiding alcohol intake before or during working hours (Federal Transit Administration, 2014). These measures reduce the risks of unintentional accidents.
Other approaches that OSHA can apply to secure the transit system include collaborating with the leaders of the company and the employees in improving compliance with the laws and regulations related to road safety and enhance the social responsibility goals of the workers. They can achieve this objective by training workers about the importance of maintaining their safety and that of the passengers they transport (OSHA, 2019).
Director of Safety Actions
If I were the director of safety for the company, I would introduce regular training on different aspects related to health and safety such as emergency drills, fire management and evacuation procedures that can be applied during emergencies. I would ensure that all the employees receive basic first aid training, which they can apply during accidents or emergencies that might occur in their line of work. As the safety director, I would make safety a collaborative approach to ensure that the employees are willing to invest their time and effort in learning about safety. This will be done by selecting different workers weekly and requesting them to educate their peer about a specific safety issue.
Other procedures that I would implement would include developing a wellness culture in the workplace. This would involve coming up with rules such as those restricting employees to drink alcohol before their duties, limit the shifts to ensure that workers are not overworked, and offer a safe and clean working condition for the employees. Passengers using the transport system would feel safer knowing that their driver had not been subjected to long working hours or allowed to work while drunk. I would also introduce an annual safety award for the drivers working in the company (Goodwill, 2012). The rewards would encourage them to practice safety measures at all times.
Aside from implementing procedures directed towards the employees, I would also ensure that each of the transit busses receives proper servicing regularly to reduce the risks of accidents. I would request the company to hire a few mechanics who will check the vehicles daily before releasing them to the drivers. This would ensure that mechanical problems are identified and managed before releasing the vehicles to the drivers. It would also reduce risks of accidents and assure customers that the company valued their safety (Goodwill, 2012). The drivers would also be trained on basic mechanical skills, which they can utilize during emergencies or mechanical breakdowns that may occur while transporting passengers.
While these measures would be effective, they would also require additional funds from the company. ABQ Ride would need to invest in trainers, training equipment, mechanics, and other safety equipment. The company would also need to set aside some funds that can be used for the annual awards to promote its continuity and the adoption of safety measures by the employees working at ABQ Ride.
Despite the affordability of the transit system, passengers and employees have often complained about issues related to safety and the need for drivers to take safety precautions while working. ABQ Ride can improve the quality of their services by implementing some of the OSHA health and safety guidelines and engaging their workers in these activities. Aside from safety benefits, putting these measures in place could also increase the number of customers using their services.
Federal Transit Administration. (2014, June). State of Bus Safety in the U.S: Summary of Federal and State Regulations. Retrieved from Federal Transit Administration: https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.dot.gov/files/docs/FTA_Report_No._0078.pdf
Goodwill, J. A. (2012). Improving Bus Transit Safety Through Rewards and Discipline. Transportation Research Board. Retrieved from b.
Litman, T. (2014). A New Transit Safety Narrative. Journal of Public Transportation, 17 (4), 114-134. Retrieved from https://www.nctr.usf.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/JPT17.4_Litman.pdf.
OSHA. (2019). Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs. Retrieved from United States Department of Labor: Occupational Safety and Health Administration: https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/index.html