Last Updated on June 27, 2023 by Flavia Calina
Fleet safety protocols are vital to ensuring that every company vehicle is being operated safely. This includes cars and trucks and smaller fleet vehicles like all-terrain utility vehicles, riding lawnmowers, and self-propelled snow blowers.
Policies alone don’t prevent accidents, however. Fleet safety programs require a structured plan that includes employee education, training, coaching, and monitoring tools.
Regularly scheduled vehicle inspections are among the most important aspects of any fleet safety program. This aims to ensure that vehicles function properly before, during and after each trip. This will help prevent premature wear and tear on key components of a vehicle (such as brakes, transmissions, and tires) that could lead to an accident or mechanical breakdown.
In addition, regular inspections can help reduce the company’s liability in the event of an accident. This is because fleet management can demonstrate that it has implemented best practices to minimize business risk.
Including all fleet drivers in the company’s policy guidelines is important, including those who drive personal cars or trucks for work purposes and those who use rented or borrowed vehicles. This helps protect the company from liability if a worker gets into an accident while on the job. It is also a good idea to support driver training programs that emphasize defensive driving techniques and to personally review all accident reports submitted by drivers or supervisors.
Managing fleet safety protocols is about more than just monitoring drivers and caring for the vehicles themselves. Proper maintenance is crucial to reduce the risk of unexpected breakdowns and accidents caused by worn-out or damaged components.
A well-managed formal fleet safety program will improve productivity, keep employees safe, and reduce potential liability claims. An effective program started with a visible management commitment to fleet safety, including developing a written fleet safety policy approved by top executives and shared with all drivers. It will include vetting and selecting quality drivers, consistent training programs, and a formal MVR process to manage driver records regularly and when there is an accident or change in driving history.
Fleet technology tools like dash cams and driver behavior monitoring will also help prevent distracted driving, a major cause of collisions in commercial trucks. Additionally, fleet management software maximizes visibility into vehicle health and utilization to monitor fleet safety comprehensively. Lastly, conducting thorough accident investigations helps identify and implement corrective actions to improve driver selection, vehicle inspections, altered traffic routes, and other factors.
The right fleet safety protocols will help protect your business from costly and reputation-damaging accidents. In the transportation industry, thousands of accidents occur each year, and some are fatal. Most of these incidents are caused by careless driving behaviors like speeding, distracted driving and improper lane changes. Establishing and implementing a fleet safety program that includes a commitment by management, a formal screening process, driver training and regular meetings is important.
Ensure that all company drivers (contractors, freelancers and temporary workers) know your fleet safety policies and procedures by including these in new hire packets and signage on the company lot. Also, please keep a record of all individuals who drive on behalf of your business, whether using a company-owned or private vehicle or a rented one for work purposes.
Regular meetings with your team will encourage accountability and provide a forum to discuss any questions or concerns regarding your fleet safety programs. These meetings should include both one-on-one and group sessions.
A well-managed fleet safety program can reduce costly accidents and protect a business from liability. Fleet vehicle accidents not only cause loss of time and revenue, but they can also expose a company to worker’s compensation claims. A formal fleet safety policy will set guidelines and procedures for professional drivers to follow and help mitigate accidents.
Facility evacuation (evacuation, sheltering or “shelter-in-place”), property conservation and damage assessment are key elements in your emergency preparedness plan. Consider the types of hazards and threats that may impact your facility and use the guidance from resource links to develop hazard-specific emergency procedures for your business.
The foundation of a best-in-class fleet safety program includes visible management commitment to driver safety, establishing effective policies for all driving exposures, vetting and selecting quality drivers, implementing and documenting driver training, monitoring driver behavior using fleet tools like smart dash cams to actively engage and intervene in unsafe events, holding both drivers and supervisors accountable for fleet driving violations and managing fleet accidents to learn from them and prevent reoccurrences.
Whether a fleet business operates company-owned, private or rented vehicles, it is essential to have a formal safety program. A safety management system’s policies, procedures and training will help protect the organization from costly accident claims.
Developing and practicing emergency response procedures is another critical component of an effective fleet safety program. These include protective actions for life safety (evacuation, shelter-in-place and lockdown) and property conservation (control of a fire or chemical spill, supervision of building utilities and systems).
Best-in-class fleet programs are grounded in visible management commitment to safety, establishing effective policies for all driving exposures, vetting and selecting quality drivers, conducting and documenting effective driver training, utilizing fleet technology tools that provide alerts for unsafe vehicle events, proactively engaging and intervening with at-risk drivers, holding drivers and supervisor accountable for driver safety violations, managing accidents when they occur to learn the causes and implement corrective action, and having well managed proper maintenance, inspection and inspection programs.
Creating a robust fleet safety program will take everyone involved’s time, effort and commitment. The key is to develop and implement an easy-to-follow plan, standardized policies and procedures that all employees can plug into and follow.
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