When it comes to injuries and fatalities at work, road accidents are one of the most common causes. There are many jobs in which employees may be required to drive a vehicle ranging from goods transportation companies to real estate agencies. In such industries, it’s important that employers take measures to keep their employees safe. Below are just a few ways in which you can protect your employees on the road.
Vet your drivers
When recruiting drivers, it’s important to check that they’re fit for the job. Red flags to look out for could include previous driving convictions or health problems that could interfere with work. You’ll only spot these red flags by putting in place vetting procedures such as medical tests and criminal background reports.
Once your drivers are recruited, you should then continue to monitor their health and their driving record. The likes of non-DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training For Supervisors could come in use when looking out for issues such as drug abuse and alcoholism. Some companies even require drivers to take a breathalyzer test before every shift.
Provide training when necessary
Training may be necessary when operating certain vehicles. Your employees may already be licensed to drive these vehicles, but there may still be unique features that need to be pointed out that could help keep your employees safe on the road. This could safely using communication features while driving and training employees to report problems.
Use vehicle monitoring and telematics
You can also protect your employees by monitoring their driving to ensure that they are not engaging in reckless behavior.
Technology can be installed on vehicles to get a clear idea of their GPS location, as well as vehicle performance data such as speed and use of fuel. This could be used to detect dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding.
Cameras can meanwhile be installed to monitor the road and see what drivers are up to. This could help to detect dangerous incidents such as near misses with vehicles or bad habits like using the phone while driving. Make sure that you understand the legal implications of introducing driver-facing cameras – this Commercial Motor guide goes into more detail on the matter.
Enforce strict driving policies
You can keep your drivers safe on the road by ensuring that they’re getting enough breaks. Ideally, drivers should stop for 15 minute breaks every two hours to ensure that they are always alert. Enforce this as a rule so that your drivers are getting the rest they need.
You may also want to introduce policies surrounding use of alcohol and drugs, as well as possibly banning activities such as using a phone while driving or eating while driving. Consider also getting employees to make pledges surrounding their health such as getting an eye test every two years and reporting any health problems to their employer. This can all be put into a contract that employees can sign when recruiting them.
Create safe driver journey plans
A lot of companies use dynamic routing to help drivers find the most efficient routes, both to save time and to save fuel. However, this technology can also be used to minimize accidents and keep drivers safe by avoiding roads that may not be suitable for certain vehicles such as lorries. It could also help when driving in precarious weather – avoiding routes that are likely to be icy or flooded.
Service vehicles regularly
It’s also important that drivers are operating safe vehicles. Having a vehicle maintenance schedule in place could help you to detect any problems early so that they can be repaired in good time. Make sure that drivers are reporting any vehicle faults in a logbook and that they’re not just being ignored. When getting vehicles repaired, make sure that you’re seeking out professionals to make these repairs.
Invest in safe vehicles
The vehicles that you buy or lease should ideally come with the latest in-built safety features. This will help to protect your employees and other road users. Every vehicle has a safety rating that you can research online. Try to spend some time doing research so that you know the vehicle you are buying is safe.
It is possible to buy older vehicles and retrofit them with newer safety technologies. This could be cheaper than buying a newer vehicle, but might also be more hassle. Such technology could include sensors, radars and other collision mitigation technology.