What Drives You?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation accidents were the most common manner in which workplace fatalities occurred in 2007 (31%). For those employers who operate a fleet of vehicles, or even simply ask employees to conduct company business in their own vehicles, this statistic presents a significant risk.
What can you do to help protect your employees, or yourself, when operating a motor vehicle? You can start by ensuring you have a Fleet Policy and Procedures Program in place, which includes the following:
- Vehicles are regularly inspected to ensure proper mechanical condition and regularly scheduled maintenance occurs.
- All drivers are required to maintain good driving records and that those records are checked at least annually. This also requires criteria be set to establish what is an acceptable record and what is not.
- A cell phone usage policy that prohibits making calls while driving. It is also recommended that incoming calls be allowed to go to voice mail, or answered only with a hands-free device and that the driver should pull over in a safe location whenever possible. The use of other electronic devices such as e-mail or texting is prohibited.
- Any moving violations or collisions must be reported, investigated, and any corrective or disciplinary actions taken in a timely manner.
- 100% seatbelt use—no exceptions.
These are the basics—your plan may be more specific.
If you do not have a Fleet Policy, there are resources available to help you create one. MEMIC’s Safety Director has sample policies listed. The National Transportation Safety Board, National Safety Council, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are filled with laws, policies, and statistics to help guide you in creating your policy.
The bottom line is driving is a hazardous activity. Employers must take responsibility and recognize the hazard, doing all they can to ensure only the safest drivers are behind the wheel. Let’s all be sure that safety is what is driving us!