Keeping employees safe is the responsibility of every employer. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is a smart business practice. When you have workers that spend time behind the wheel as part of their job, safety becomes a bigger issue.
Not only are your employee, equipment, and business at risk if there is a driving accident, but others can be harmed. Workplace driving safety should be a top priority – the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the CDC reports that 22,000 deaths were caused by work-related vehicle accidents from 2001-2014, and work-related crashes cost employers $25 billion each year. Here are seven strategies to improve workplace driving safety to protect your employees, your business, and your community.
1. Fleet Maintenance
Businesses with commercial vehicles or fleets should put a priority on vehicle maintenance. Not only can it protect your investment in the vehicles, but it can be important in preventing unnecessary accidents. Routine inspections and replacement of brakes, tires, and all safety equipment should be completed as recommended by the manufacturer. Never let an employee drive a vehicle that needs repairs.
2. Reduce Driver Fatigue
One of the most common causes of work-related driving accidents is driver fatigue. Reduce the chance of driver fatigue by hiring adequate staff and providing regularly scheduled work shifts. Drivers who work irregular schedules or overtime to cover missing staff are more likely to become fatigued behind the wheel.
3. Ongoing Driver Training
Driving safety needs to be reinforced. Drivers should receive initial driving safety training and continuing education to reinforce good habits to prevent accidents on the road.
4. Check Driving Records
Before hiring a driver, make sure to check their driving record. Periodic checks of a driver’s record should be performed – you need to be appraised on any changes to their driving abilities and habits, both at work and on personal time. Do not rely on employees to communicate serious driving infractions voluntarily.
5. Maintain Strict Driving Safety Policies
Beyond following the driving laws within your state, it is important to stress driving safety policies within your company. Wearing seatbelts, not using mobile devices, zero-tolerance drug/alcohol, and other driving safety policies should be enforced. Violations to driving safety policies should be reprimanded and entered into the employee’s work record.
6. Removing Driving Safety Violators
Repeated driving safety violations, either legal or against company policy, by a driver should be considered a reason for demotion or dismissal. Serious violations may be grounds for immediate termination, such as using drugs or alcohol when at work, especially when behind the wheel.
7. Positive Incentives
It never hurts to provide positive incentives to workers for achieving a good driving safety record. A little thank you for your drivers for 30, 60, or more days without a driving safety incident can help keep safety top-of-mind to protect your workers and your bottom line.
At SafetyPro Resources, we are here to help our clients meet and exceed their safety standards. If you are looking to outsource safety management or need help with training, contact our workplace safety professionals to learn more about all our programs and services. We proudly serve businesses throughout the Gulf Coast region – Call our office today in Baton Rouge.