Bus/limo/taxi Workplace violence Transportation Federal agencies

NIOSH publishes safety tips for taxi drivers

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Washington — NIOSH has published a fact sheet intended to help prevent taxi drivers from becoming victims of robbery and violence on the job.

“The most serious workplace violence issues facing taxi drivers are homicide and physical assaults, which are often related to a robbery,” the resource states, citing a 2017 study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. “Violence is often a leading cause of taxi driver deaths, along with motor vehicle crashes.”

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, taxi drivers and chauffeurs in 2017 had a fatal injury rate of 10.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, compared with 3.5 for all workers.

The fact sheet provides safety tips addressing four main topics: operating the taxi, dealing with customers, dealing with cash and visibility.

The tips for operating a taxi include installing and maintaining security cameras and silent alarms, using and practicing emergency communication systems with a dispatcher or other drivers, and using a personal or vehicle tracking device such as GPS.

NIOSH also advises drivers to contact dispatchers when picking up passengers and ask their employer to provide training “on how to recognize, avoid or calm potentially violent situations.”

The agency also recommends using cashless systems if possible and keeping the vehicle in a well-lit area when parked.

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