A work-related vehicle accident will cost an employer an average of at least $16,500, according to OSHA.
If injuries are involved, that figure can quadruple. If there’s a fatality, you could be looking at costs exceeding half a million dollars. Not to mention the suffering and broken lives that kind of event leaves in its wake.
To ensure your employees are safe at all times, and are also protecting the public, you need to have in place:
- A proper maintenance program for company vehicles, and
- A safe driving program.
Your employees play a key role in the success of both programs.
If you have workers who drive as part of their job, your commitment to workplace safety extends to the vehicles they drive.
Since your workers are the ones driving your fleet vehicles, they also serve as the eyes and ears to any problems you might not be aware of.
Just like rental car companies do, you can have a check-off sheet that workers use when taking out and returning a vehicle. They can report any damage that occurs and if the vehicle is making a strange sound or running rough.
Employees should also be up front about any accidents or near misses that occur while using a company vehicle.
Staying safe on the road
Clearly state your expectations and qualifications for using a company vehicle.
Also, make sure your drivers know the repercussions for misuse. After all, employees represent your company when they travel on business.
You should train them to:
- Follow all applicable traffic laws, including those relating to speed and phone use while driving.
- Know what to do when they are involved in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
- Know how to contact roadside assistance if necessary.
- Make sure the vehicle is turned off, locked and keys removed when leaving it unattended.
Also, remind your driving employees that you won’t compromise on rules or policies within your safe driving program. This way, drivers know that you’re very serious about their safety.
Fleet safety meetings
First and foremost, cover your procedures for inspecting a vehicle and how to report any trouble.
If you hold the meeting in the fleet parking area, you can show your drivers exactly how you want them to conduct the inspection that happens both when taking out a vehicle and returning it.
Make them aware that you will be conducting random inspections of your own to check they don’t ignore the examination of a vehicle before and after use.
Regularly review your safe driving policies and update them as needed.
You can incorporate customized videos and other presentations to keep your staff updated on new laws as well as remind them of existing ones.
While your employees likely have been driving for many years and may have good driving records, it’s also a good idea to review rules of the road ― especially when new laws take effect.
Just as important as safety is communication with your employees. Since you’re not usually with them on the road, you don’t know what might be happening with a vehicle ― but they do.
What you don’t know not only can hurt your bottom line but also literally can hurt employees.
So, make sure that you instill in them the importance of reporting any issues with the vehicle or any incidents they may have been involved in.