Misconceptions About Fleet Safety
Generally, employers and employees tend to think of fleet safety programs as a way to protect their vehicles, but that is merely one part of the equation. Auto accident scenarios in which there is damage to more than one auto and injuries to multiple people are not uncommon. And accidents that cause injuries to employees and civilians can create a public relations dilemma for your entity. A well-rounded fleet safety program addresses all auto-related risks and incidents that may impact your organization.
Why Employees Should Focus on Fleet Safety
Loss runs including slips, trips and falls, struck-by incidents, and scrapes and sprains usually outnumber automobile incidents. But motor vehicle incidents tend to show up more on the severity side of losses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that roadway incidents were the number one cause of workplace fatalities in 2013. In fact, roadway incidents have been the number one cause of workplace fatalities since 1992, when the BLS started tracking and recording this data.
Components of a Strong Fleet Safety Program
It is important to customize a program to fit your needs, but the following components are crucial:
1. A formal, written program that comprehensively looks at all potential exposures;
2. Upper-management commitment to the program;
3. Regularly-conducted motor vehicle record (MVR) checks on employees;
4. Having criteria in place for MVR checks. Grading criteria should establish major vs minor violations, with more severe consequences for major violations; and
5. Providing in-house training to help employees understand the overall significance of fleet safety.
How an Entity Can Ensure That Employees Adhere to Fleet Safety Policies
Telematics, such as GPS tracking, dash-cam systems, etc., can be helpful, but are also costly. Another approach is to have supervisory staff doing random driver training, observations and surprise ride-alongs. Leadership can have a major influence, which is why it is important to get their buy-in and commitment. You should also make sure employees know the risks and consequences of violating policies and having poor MVR results.