Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Fleet safety management is about establishing and nurturing a culture of safety, which involves implementing and sustaining best practices across the entire fleet operation. By deploying a comprehensive driver safety program, a fleet safety manager or company safety administrator can achieve their primary goal of creating and overseeing a safe driver culture where best practices become second nature to employees when they are behind the wheel.
Here are four best practices to consider to help achieve this goal.
1. Establishing a foundation
Build support — Developing a driver safety program starts with recognizing the potential challenges from the start and addressing them. Make sure you have support from senior management, while also gaining acceptance from employees and enforcing policy consistently.
Learn from leaders — Studying use cases from other companies that have successfully rolled out safe driving policies and fleet risk management solutions provides a great opportunity to learn. Do your research and see what may work best for your organization.
Assemble the team — Forming a core team from across the various areas of the company (marketing, human resources and operations) will help bring experience and different points of views.
2. Coordinating resources
Within your workplace — Safe driving courses and practical in-vehicle evaluations are important elements of fleet driver safety training. Offering these from within the organization shows employees that fleet safety is a core commitment of your organization. This also helps emphasize what is at stake, which includes not only each individual’s safety, but also the entire company’s brand reputation, the ability to serve customers and legal liability which brings economic risk to the business and its employees.
On-the-road — Practical evaluations of drivers skills should be a consistent part of the overall program. Consider providing your drivers with training annually.
3. Layering in technology
Know your options — Driver safety solutions can make an important contribution to fleet operations. A fleet safety leader must be knowledgeable about the latest technology in order to tap into the benefits. The best way to do this is to engage technology providers in dialogue and request software demonstrations and presentations to better understand the approach each provider takes to fleet safety.
Tackle the big rocks — Driver safety technology can give administrators the power to enforce company policy and gain insight about driver performance for corrective action. Technology that tackles mobile device distraction is critical to achieving meaningful fleet safety.
First-hand view — The best way for fleet safety and operations leaders to gain an understanding about a solution they might consider deploying is to engage in a simulation. Leaders should engage with the provider to experience the solution first-hand. When an initiative is led by a leader, it helps gain employee buy-in.
4. Rewarding compliance
Program measurement — Leveraging data to understand compliance levels and monitor progress can inform decisions on what is working and what is not. This includes data from all segments of the safety program including, telematics, cameras, training and mobile usage at work.
Share knowledge — Compile comprehensive safety reports and scorecards and share with staff to ensure the whole team understands the gains or missteps of the program.
Reward performance — Good driver performance deserves to be rewarded. Consider implementing a rewards system to incentivize drivers to adhere to safety guidelines. The incentives may include an employee of the month program, extra vacation days, reduced insurance premiums or a bonus system. Figure out what works for your company and what you are able to offer.
Take action quickly — Identifying high-risk drivers and addressing issues quickly, ideally before they happen, will keep the program on track and the goals achievable.
Fleet safety management begins with understanding and executing these four best practices. Once employees feel that a safety program helps them get home safe after a day at work, fleet safety will start to become a part of the company’s DNA.