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Responsible Risk Management On Highway – Our Safety Consultant

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Responsible Risk Management And The Move Over Law

This responsible risk management article was forwarded to me by our Safety Consultant Glen DuLac, CSP

Why Not Start on the Right ?

I had planned on writing a nice vanilla flavored Safety article, which would have caught the attention of the average small to mid-sized business owner; but something happened in late December which changed my plans.

Move Over Responsible Risk Management Logo
(c) NC Dept of Safety

While driving Westbound on our beloved Highway 64, I was stopped by a State Trooper. It could have been a bad day but it wasn’t. Hard to believe, but I only got a warning.

I feel duty bound to share the violation I may have committed, so I can help fellow Carolinians avoid this infraction. The Officer called it “the move over law.”

Basically if you are on a four lane road or an interstate and you see an emergency vehicle with lights flashing on the side of the road, you must move one lane to the left, provided you can do so safely. By doing so, the Troopers won’t have car going past them in close proximity.

Okay, I can see a thread of logic here but let’s look at this from an occupational safety standpoint. Ask the question, whose responsibility is it to make an employee safe? Is it the organization? In this case the State Police of N.C. Is it the individual employee’s responsibility? In this case each individual State Trooper. Last choice, would it be the responsibility of the general public, cruising down the road?

From a Safety Management stand point, each employee must take responsibility for protecting himself.

From an OSHA legal standpoint, the employer must provide a work place free of recognizable hazards and have a safety plan. The employee shall follow the safety practices that are part of the employer’s safety plan.

Traffic Inforcers Responsible Risk Management Driving Safety
Wikimedia commons by Antonio Cruz/ ABr.

The Trooper shared with me that the law was enacted to make things safer for the Troopers, when they stop a vehicle by the side of the road. I shared with the Officer, that I was a safety professional and that I took safety very seriously. After all, there are only 400 Certified Safety Professionals, in North Carolina, and I am proud to be one of these few.

I asked him why he did not approach my vehicle from the right side of the car. By doing so, he would be about six feet further from the roadway. He told me that you can smell alcohol on a driver’s breath from the left side of the car.

Okay, that seems sensible but still, why not start from the passenger side. Most stops do not involve the suspicion of drunk driving.

Here is an open question to anyone in law enforcement, if it is so important that we have a “move over law, “ why don’t we also require our Officers to start his traffic stops from the passenger side of the vehicle?

In closing, Troopers would be further from the zone of traffic and they would have the full view of both hands of the driver being pulled over, not just that drives right hand.

©J&L Risk Management Inc Copyright Notice

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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