Improving Safety and the Bottom Line (Part 2)
Best Practice Tips
Last month’s newsletter reviewed some of the costs to a company from on-the-job vehicle accidents and outlined the first five of ten best practice tips. Those tips are offered to reduce the risk and frequency of accidents and improve driver safety, as well as protect a company’s reputation and bottom line. Those first five best practice tips can be found here, and the other five are as follows:
Review Motor Vehicle Records on a Regular Basis
Finding problems and reacting quickly is a key to reducing the cost of accidents. The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires companies to request and review each driver’s motor vehicle record (MVR) once a year at a minimum. A better practice is to go through this review process twice a year or even quarterly. Reviewing MVR’s on a regular basis reinforces safety concerns and can fix bad habits before problems occur.
Address Bad Behavior
It sounds simple but many managers avoid addressing problems with drivers because they don’t like confrontation or are afraid the driver will quit if criticized. When the problem isn’t addressed, the behavior continues and company risk increases. Approaching a behavior problem from a perspective of wanting to help instead of criticize is the key. Look for the root cause of the behavior. An example might be: if a driver has repeated speeding violations, the root cause could be s/he has trouble with time management and planning, with the result of speeding in order to accomplish the expected tasks. Offering training on time management might be the solution. The problem is addressed and the driver knows that you are willing to listen and trying to help.
Timely Post-Accident Training is a Must
After an accident, training should be scheduled within 24-48 hours if possible. Training needs to be swift to not only address any possible bad behavior and prevent future accidents but to demonstrate your company’s seriousness in managing safety should the accident end up in court.
Involve Management, Make Safety Part of the Company Culture
As the leadership of the company, owners and managers need to be actively involved in the training of all employees. For employees to take safety seriously, management must take safety seriously. To infuse safety procedures into the culture of the company, safety results need to be measured and all levels of management need to have ownership in the results.
Allow Driver to Share Safety Lessons
Allowing the driver to share safety lessons with a spouse, child, or friend is a great gesture and communicates that the company is looking out for his/her best interest.
Approaching safety with best practice procedures is key to improving and managing risk. Implementing these tips will put your company on the road to a better bottom line.
More Stringent Equipment Requirements in California
- Trucks with 2000 to 2004 engines must be retrofitted with diesel particulate filters unless they are part of a fleet phase-in or qualify for an exception;
- Trucks operating at the state’s ports or rail yards must have 2007 or newer engines;
- Trucks that are 2010 models or older and pulling 53-foot or longer box-type trailers need to use SmartWay verified tires or retreads when replacing their worn-out tires; and
- 53-foot or longer box-type trailers must have SmartWay verified aerodynamics unless they are part of a fleet phase-in or qualify for an exception.