August 4, 2021
Building a Fleet Safety Program: 6 Steps You Should Follow
In the last few years, more and more traffic accidents and fatalities involving fleet vehicles have occurred on roads. While some of these incidents are due to more people driving than ever before, other factors like distracted and drowsy driving have also contributed to this alarming trend.
As a fleet manager or As a fleet manager or safety manager, it’s your responsibility to help reduce the number of traffic accidents that occur within your fleet by implementing a comprehensive safety program for all employees. And while implementing such a program may seem daunting at first, with these six steps, you’ll be well on your way.
Thorough Driver Screening and Regular Training
All drivers need regular training relevant to their job and the type of vehicles they operate. In addition, certain groups like new hires or newly promoted managers must go through an orientation program before being allowed on the road. This ensures they are familiar with the fleet’s protocols and helps create a bond between them and their trainer or manager.
Depending on what kind of fleet you manage (trucking, taxi, limo, etc.), the type and amount of training will vary. For example, large trucking fleets may require at least a year to complete all of your training, while smaller fleets with fewer vehicles may be able to get away with a few hours of training once a year.
Document Policies and Procedures
For your employees to follow a safety protocol, they need to know what it is and how to adhere to it. Having written policies and procedures ensures everyone on staff understands your company’s expectations Include everything you can think of: restroom breaks, start/stop times, driving techniques, safety procedures in case of an accident, etc.
If you operate a fleet of vehicles that involves public transportation, make sure your drivers know and understand the rules about driving with customers. Having this kind of knowledge will ensure they have good customer relations skills and won’t make mistakes while on the job.
Not only does having policies and procedures in writing help your drivers follow a safety protocol, it makes things easier for you to track.
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It’s important to know what kind of driver you’ve employed before they’re allowed behind the wheel. Driver monitoring and performance evaluations will give you insight into how a driver operates under different conditions, such as driving through construction, using vehicles in later hours, driving on roads with high traffic density, and any other potentially hazardous driving conditions.
A good way to monitor drivers is to have a checklist of the practices they need to follow. Then, rather than subjecting your drivers to long interviews, review their daily log sheets and see how they’re doing against each designated category. If all checks are clear (green), you can consider them safe to continue driving. If any checks are red, it might be time for a refresher course or even to replace that employee.
Investing in solutions like Derive VQ Safety is another way to understand better how your drivers act on the road. Derive VQ Safety gives fleet managers more control over their fleet’s driver behavior by deploying seatbelt compliance, speed governing technology, and distracted driving protection.
Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Keeping your fleet vehicles in top shape is essential for your employees’ safety and for avoiding unnecessary accidents.
Inspecting and adjusting brakes, checking tire pressure and alignment, rotating tires regularly, keeping up with oil changes (with proper intervals), etc., will ensure your drivers can operate their vehicles safely.
This initiative will not only reduce the number of accidents but also promote safer driving practices.
Create a Plan for Emergencies
AA fleet safety plan should include an emergency action plan (EAP) that all employees must know in case of an accident. The EAP will include protocols for all kinds of accidents, including fuel spills, electrical malfunctions, natural disasters, and other catastrophic events. Having a well-defined plan is extremely important and can play a significant role in your ability to get help as soon as possible.. In addition, this will help your employees react to emergencies quickly and easily, which can translate into fewer injuries and less damage.
Evaluate the Program
There’s no point in having a fleet safety program if you don’t evaluate it regularly. You need to know what works and what doesn’t improve your EAP. Sometimes you may need to create a new one depending on your results.
Running safety scenarios will help you identify all of the potential problems and solutions your EAP can introduce. Whether defining how to handle a vehicle accident, assisting with putting out a vehicle fire, or performing first-aid on accident victims until help arrives, EAPs should be regularly evaluated and updated based on the nature of the job being completed.
Periodic checks in an EAP help identify and fix gaps in safety protocol, which also leads to fewer accidents and injuries.
By implementing these fleet safety guidelines into your program, you’ll see how easy it is to run a safe and efficient fleet operation. In addition, you’ll find that employees are more motivated to follow a safety protocol, and you’ll have a more efficient, stress-free work environment for everyone.