Transportation has a vital role in the success of every business. A business operation cannot properly function without the need for people working for you to drive. Vehicles are an important part of a business operation. A business needs to plan a reliable and effective road safety protocol. Today, we go through this business roadmap for owners and driving staff as well.
Most businesses need workers to drive. Vehicles are often needed for business operations like moving products and people. Businesses cannot operate without employees driving. Every aspect of business operation involves activity that requires driving such as:
- Sales and Delivery
- Public and private transport
- Business Meetings
- Emergency Services (FireFighters, Police, Ambulance, Rescue)
Driving is one of the most dangerous professional activities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation accidents were the largest contributors to occupational deaths in 2019. Occupational road accidents can cause liabilities and expenses to businesses. It has a significant impact on financial and operational activities. It is helpful to invest in an effective road safety program to prevent car accidents, injuries, and occupational deaths.
Elements of Road Safety Program:
- Establish Management Commitment
Strong support and commitment from the management will pave the way to the success of the road safety program. To ensure the success of a road safety program, management should invest in resources essential to the program. Leadership examples will encourage road safety compliance of all staff in the organization.
- Effective Employer-Employee Communication
Effective communication in the workplace for workers is critical to the success of the road safety program. people working for you must be involved in the development of road safety policies and procedures. Drivers have first-hand knowledge and experience of the possible risks that drivers may encounter. Employee suggestions and comments would help to build a reliable road safety plan. In turn, effective communication from managers should also be practiced. Understanding the needs and being able to balance all POVs is necessary for creating respect and harmony at work.
- Driving Hazards and Risks Identification
Road safety plans minimize the risks of vehicular accidents, injuries, and death. Proper identification of risks and hazards associated with driving will result in an effective road safety campaign. Develop a hazard and risk assessment method to ensure proper hazard and risk identification.
A road safety risk assessment form can help identify and classify important risk liability areas for workers driving on behalf of the company.
A road safety risk assessment may include the following driver risk factors:
- License validity
- Vehicular accidents record
- Traffic violations record
- Medical condition
- Knowledge of safety policies and procedures
- Annual health and check-up
- Work Schedule
- Training Attended
- Driver Assessment
- Outline Safety Measures: Driver, Vehicle, and Travel
Many factors may affect the road safety of drivers. It is important to create a road map of safety measures focusing on driver, vehicle, and travel.
- Safety Measures for Drivers:
- Skills Limitation
Drivers should have a valid driver’s license applicable to the vehicle they are driving. For large and commercial vehicles, ensure the driver has the proper qualifications and doesn’t have driving limitations.
- Distracted Driving
staff should be educated about distracted driving. Strict prohibition of mobile use, eating, drinking while driving will lessen the risks of vehicular accidents and crashes.
- Alcohol and Substance Use
It is important to properly screen drivers for alcohol and substance use as it poses a huge risk in safe driving.
- Safe Driving Practices
Safe driving practices protect drivers from road accidents and injuries. Here are some of the safe driving practices drivers should develop:
- Seat belt use
- Following speed limit
- Keep a safe distance
- Schedule and Rest Management
It is advisable to give employed staff adequate rest to ensure people working for yous are physically fit to drive especially for long hours. Establish an organized working schedule to ensure workers get enough rest.
- Employee Insurance Policy
To ensure people working for you have protection and support in the event of a vehicular accident or crash, it is recommended to get motor fleet insurance. This insurance covers the damages and injuries associated with company-owned vehicles involved in a car accident.
Types of Fleet Insurance:
- Third-party only
Business owners with fleet operations are required by the government to provide this fleet insurance coverage. It covers expenses for medical treatment and damage done to third-party drivers.
- Third-party, Fire, and Theft
This type of insurance covers third-party damages and medical expenses. It has additional coverage for stolen vehicles and damages caused by fire.
- Full Comprehensive
As the name implies, it provides comprehensive coverage for damages and injuries to both parties. It also protects against theft and fire damages.
- Safety Measures for Vehicles:
- Regular Inspection and Maintenance
A regular inspection is an efficient way to make sure vehicles are in good running condition. In this way, you can prevent possible accidents and crashes. It is best to adopt a vehicle inspection checklist to check the current condition of the vehicle. Preventive maintenance is a cost-effective way of preventing accidents and reducing vehicle downtime.
Inspection checklist may include:
- Vehicle Inspector Name and Details
- Date of Inspection
- Vehicle type, model, make and build
- License Plate Number
- Report and Fleet unit number
Parts to be examined :
- Emergency Brakes
- Rear and front bumpers
- Interiors like a seatbelt, horn, and emergency equipment
- Lights including headlights, tail lights, brake lights, reversing lights, turn signals, and four-way flashers.
- Outside and Inside Mirrors
- Tires Condition and Alignment
- Tools for replacing tires and spare tires
- Under the hood like brake fluid level, windshield washer fluid, engine oil level, and quality, battery, power steering fluid level, and quality.
- Windshield wipers, Rear window, and Window controls
- Vehicle Policy
It is important to provide full protection to your employed staff and company vehicles. Aside from fleet auto insurance, it is also highly suggested to get additional insurance coverage for any vehicles used for work purposes.
Insurance coverage you may add:
- Non-owned auto insurance for company leased vehicles or employees personally owned vehicles used for work purposes.
- Commercial auto insurance for specialized vehicles. Some auto insurance providers we carry are Auto-owners Insurance and Chubb to name a few.
- Vehicle Safety Features
The provision of vehicle safety features further strengthens the protection you provide for your workers. These safety features will protect your people working for yous from accidents and crashes.
Recommended Vehicle Safety Features:
- Anti-lock Brakes
- Traction Control
- Electronic Stability Control
- Forward Collision Warning
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Blindspot Warning
- Active Head Restraints
- Backup Camera
- Safety Measure for Travel:
- Recognize Danger Zones
Drivers should be properly educated through safe driving training about recognizing danger zones like intersections, heels, and curves.
- Trip Schedule
Provision of reasonable and adequate scheduling for driving employed staff. It is essential to plan an organized trip schedule especially for employees involved in long and cross-state driving.
- Weather Driving Conditions
Certain weather conditions can affect road safety driving. Weather conditions like rain, snow, fog, and dust can affect driving visibility. It can also cause a slippery road. Drivers should be trained on how to safely drive during these weather conditions.
- Develop Road Safety Policies and Procedures
Establish road safety policies that affirm the management’s commitment to road safety. Specify the goal of the road safety program as well as the responsibilities of business owners, management, and workers.
Safe work procedures outline the standard operating procedures in terms of minimizing the risks of accidents and injuries. It should also state detailed procedures regarding accident response and post-accident reporting.
Steps in Building a Strong Road Safety Policies and Procedure:
- Form a small team responsible for creating the road safety policies and procedures. Knowledge and skills differ from each person working for you to another. It is preferable to appoint individuals who have control over road safety issues, company protocols, and regulations.
A team should consist of:
- A representative from the management who knows the ins and outs of the company’s protocol.
- An expert who has first-hand knowledge of hazards and risks of road safety.
- Occupational health and safety representative who is familiar with safety regulatory requirements.
- To successfully build strong road safety policies and procedures, it is important to provide adequate resources to the team.
- To build reliable and effective road safety policies and procedures, it is necessary to consult employed staff who drive for the company. They are the ones who know the hazards and risks of driving. Their knowledge and suggestions are a great foundation in building road safety policies and procedures.
- When it comes to setting goals and objectives of the road safety policies and procedures, it should be specific and relevant. It should address the why, who, what, when, and where of the policy.
- Why is the company building this policy?
- To demonstrate the company’s commitment to safety.
- To safeguard the health and safety of employees who drive on the company’s behalf.
- To comply with the state requirements.
- To minimize liabilities and financial costs associated with occupational vehicular accidents and crashes.
- To protect the company’s brand and image.
- What strategies the company will use to achieve the goal of its policy?
Define the procedures the company will implement to prevent hazards and control correlated liabilities and consequences. It can include:
- Driver Requirement and Qualification Policy
- Alcohol and Drug Use Policy
- Safe Driving Practices Policy
- Accident Reporting Policy
- Disciplinary Action Policy
- Who is likely to practice this policy?
Road safety policies apply to all workers who drive on the company’s behalf. Specify if some exceptions may apply to certain driving practices and people working for you.
- When will this policy be implemented?
For easy and consistent implementation, the road safety policies should be applied at all times except for specified exemptions.
- Where does this policy apply?
This policy would mostly be applied in public and private roads and sites and locations under the company’s jurisdiction.
- What are the consequences of the violation of the policy?
All employed staff should be well informed about the corresponding disciplinary actions for violating the road safety policies and procedures.
- Construction of the policy and procedures document.
- Once the document is ready, it is subject to review and approval.
- Once the road safety plan is approved, it should be properly disseminated to all workers concerned.
- As business continues to grow, there might be changes to the fleet operation. It is advisable to annually review the road safety program for changes and improvement.
- Create Driver Selection Benchmark and Routine Driver Analysis Procedure
To ensure safe driving practices, it is important to create recruitment criteria for hiring drivers and regular driver performance evaluations.
Driver Selection Benchmark:
- Employment Qualification Investigation
Occupational driving carries significant responsibilities that’s why business owners should ensure hiring only qualified drivers. It is important to have a meticulous hiring process to ensure your employed staff’s appropriate qualifications and competency. Some of the important qualifications to check:
- Valid License
- Driving History
- Employment History
- Physical Assessment
- Drug and Alcohol Testing
It is an essential part of the employment process. It allows employers to ascertain if the applicant has the necessary skills, experience, and personality for the job role.
- Driving Trial
The best way to gauge the applicant’s driving skills and behaviors is through direct observation. Companies that are heavily engaged in a fleet operation are recommended to hire a qualified driving instructor. A qualified instructor will assess the applicant’s driving skills and attitude.
- Follow a Strict Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Practice
Proactive strategies like regular vehicle inspection and maintenance will save your business a lot of money. This will prevent possible liabilities as well as hefty vehicle repair or replacement costs.
- Incident Reporting
We all know accidents are inevitable. Eventually, it is bound to happen. Take this opportunity to evaluate gaps and flaws of the current road safety program and re-examine why it happened. Develop and improve measures to make sure similar accidents will not happen again.
- Regular Road Safety Program Evaluation
Like other business operations, road safety is a continuous improvement process. It is recommended to do an annual review of the road safety program’s effectiveness and suggest ways to further improve the program.
As business owners, you have the responsibility to provide a safe work environment to your employees. In cases of employed staff driving, a major concern is road safety. Vehicular accidents and crashes come at a great price. Aside from injuries and death, accidents have a major impact on businesses. This could have a debilitating effect in terms of finance, reputation, and operation of a business.
Aside from implementing a road safety program, let’s not forget the importance of providing insurance protection for workers and business assets. When all else fails, the insurance coverage will keep your business protected. Contact us now and know more about how your business can be protected.