Safety is not a driving habit that happens without careful planning and training. Fleet managers need to establish safety as a core company value and develop a plan to ensure the safest drivers possible. Safety starts long before the driver gets behind the wheel as well. Adhering to rigorous standards during the hiring process provides a baseline.
For example, hiring managers can enforce strict age limits as well as require a minimum number of years of experience before considering an applicant. While the demand is high for truck drivers, having no driver is better than having an unsafe one.
Onboarding and Training
Once a company has their pool of chosen candidates, they should begin with safety training before the new hire begins driving. This includes training in a classroom setting to discuss fleet safety regulations and procedures, defensive driving, personal safety, and more. Fleet managers should not limit safety discussions to the onboarding process. Whenever practical, meetings with drivers should reinforce safety topics.
Ongoing Safety Management
Fleet managers have several methods available to them to cultivate a culture of safety. Some of these include:
- Immediate remedial training on safety after an accident or incident
- Training events to bring drivers up to speed on any changes or additions to safety procedures
- Implementing a progressive discipline program for safety violations
- Public recognition or awards for safe drivers
Fleet managers cannot expect their drivers to take safety seriously unless they do so as well. Safety starts with company leadership, so managers need to communicate about safety often. Safety programs are a vital part of risk management. To learn more, contact the experts at Encompass.