With the average accident costing over $75,000, it is easy to see how important it is for restoration contractors to implement a proper driver safety program. In this post we will point out the proper steps to set up a your program.
Step 1: Senior Management Commitment and Employee Involvement
The safety of an organization's employees as they drive for work and to and from work is so important that it requires the attention of top-level management. Senior management can provide leadership, set policies, and allocate resources (staff and budget) to create a safety culture. Actively encouraging employee participation and involvement at all levels of the organization is a good practice and will help the effort to succeed. Workers and their representatives must be involved in the initial planning phase.
Step 2: Written Policies and Procedures
A written statement emphasizing the commitment to reducing traffic-related deaths and injuries is essential to a successful program. Create a clear, comprehensive and enforceable set of traffic safety policies and communicate them to all employees. These are the cornerstones of an effective driver safety program. Post them throughout the workplace, distribute copies periodically, and discuss the policies at company meetings. Offer incentives for sticking to the rules, and point out the consequences of disregarding them. Below are sample policies that can be adapted for use by your company.
Sample Alcohol and Drug Use Policy
(Name of Company/Organization) has a vital interest in maintaining safe, healthy, and efficient working conditions for its employees. Therefore, the consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs by any employee during "duty hours" is prohibited. Duty hours consist of all working hours, including break periods and on-call periods, whether on or off company premises. The consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs while performing company business or while in a company facility is prohibited.
Sample Seat Belt Use Policy
(Name of Company/Organization) recognizes that seat belts are extremely effective in preventing injuries and loss of life. It is a simple fact that wearing your seat belt can reduce your risk of dying in a traffic crash by 45 percent in a car and by as much as 60 percent in a truck or SUV.
We care about our employees, and want to make sure that no one is injured or killed in a tragedy that could have been prevented by the use of seat belts. Therefore, all employees of (Name of Company/Organization) must wear seat belts when operating a company-owned vehicle, or any vehicle on company premises or on company business; and all occupants are to wear seat belts or, where appropriate, child restraints when riding in a company-owned vehicle, or in a personal vehicle being used for company business. All employees and their families are strongly encouraged to always use seat belts and the proper child restraints whenever they are driving or riding in any vehicle, in any seating position.
Step 3: Driver Agreements
Establish a contract with all employees who drive for work purposes, whether they drive assigned company vehicles or drive their personal vehicles. By signing an agreement, the driver acknowledges awareness and understanding of the organization's traffic safety policies, procedures, and expectations regarding driver performance, vehicle maintenance and reporting of moving violations.
Step 4: Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Checks
Check the driving records of all employees who drive for work purposes. You must screen out drivers who have poor driving records since they are most likely to cause problems in the future. The MVR should be reviewed periodically to ensure that the driver maintains a good driving record. Clearly define the number of violations an employee/driver can have before losing the privilege of driving for work, and provide training where indicated.
Step 5: Crash Reporting and Investigation
Establish and enforce a crash reporting and investigation process. All crashes, regardless of severity, should be reported to the employee's supervisor as soon as feasible after the incident. Company traffic safety policies and procedures should clearly guide drivers through their responsibilities in a crash situation. All crashes should be reviewed to determine their cause and whether or not the incidents were preventable. Understanding the root causes of crashes and why they are happening, regardless of fault, forms the basis for eliminating them in the future.