Removing identity lanyards after a long day at work is not exactly the first thing most of us think of when hopping in vehicles to drive home.

However, NHS managers are warning staff that lanyards could lead to a potentially life-threatening injury if worn while driving. Workers are being told not to wear lanyards when driving or travelling in cars because of the risk of injury if an airbag goes off.

An alert has been issued citing “serious traffic accidents where the wearing of identity lanyards around drivers’ necks has exacerbated the severity of the injuries sustained”.

NHS worker killed in lanyard crash

Tragically, the safety alert reports that: “An NHS worker stored a lot of keys on her lanyard for medicine cabinets, lockers, etc. She got into her car and was driving home but did not remove her lanyard. Unfortunately, she also had a crash that triggered the airbag. The force of the airbag caused the keys to perforate her bowel”.

In another incident, a driver involved in a minor car crash suffered a collapsed lung after a lanyard and pass pushed into their chest, requiring hospital treatment. The police said: “Had the person not been wearing their lanyard and pass at the time, they would have most likely walked away relatively unscathed”.

Consequently, NHS staff are being “strongly advised” to remove lanyards when driving.

Management admit such incidents are unlikely but hope by raising awareness of the potential risk that staff will routinely remove them when in vehicles.

Police advice

According to police, taking off lanyards before setting off could greatly reduce the risk of injury in the event of a car crash.

They have strongly advised that staff remove their lanyard/staff pass when leaving the office for both safety and security reasons. In particular, they have urged workers to always remove their lanyard before driving.

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