Good Fleet Safety Programs Can Reduce the Risk of Injury to Fleet Employees
The average workplace injury costs companies about $36,500. While this is already a lofty price to pay for one accidental injury on the job, that price almost doubles to $70,000 for employees who are injured while driving on company business.
Of course, our Charlotte work injury attorneys understand that the real issue for fleet employees is remaining safe while behind the wheel. When workers regularly drive on company business, they should encourage their employers to set up a fleet safety program to help protect them.
The Elements of an Effective Fleet Safety Program
Fleet safety programs must address a wide range of considerations that cover the many issues faced by drivers every day. The following are just some of the main elements that need to be put in writing and made accessible for anyone who drives as part of company business:
- Screen drivers: Clearly, a safe driving history helps ensure a safe driving future. Before employees drive on company business, their companies should inspect their licenses and ask them to provide written answers to questions about their past accident experiences, traffic citations, insurance coverage and capacity to operate different types of vehicles, if applicable. Driver age is also a valid consideration. Very young drivers may lack experience, while older drivers may need to undergo periodic vision and health screenings – all while always considering fair treatment of all workers.
- Establish Driving Policies: For the most part, company driving policies should be very similar to the North Carolina Driver’s Handbook because this book is written with traffic safety in mind. In addition to ensuring that fleet drivers know and obey the rules of the road, the policies need to particularly address the use of seatbelts, avoiding distracted or fatigued driving and identifying when passengers are permitted in company vehicles.
- Assess trips: Granted, short and long road trips represent a major portion of many employees’ jobs. However, for those who drive for the company on a more limited basis, employers should establish policies for establishing the necessity of the trips versus other options, such as online meetings or outside delivery services. They may even want to go so far as to establish the safest routes.
- Maximize Vehicle Safety: Workers may be safer when driving their own vehicles, but their employers might consider it better to drive newer company vehicles that undergo regular maintenance schedules. Motorcycles and bicycles are generally unsafe choices, and larger vehicles, such as trucks, buses or even passenger vans may require special training.
Of course, these and many other issues can fill more pages than employees have time to read. Companies should consider holding regular training sessions to help remind fleet drivers of the rules and their importance.
Accident Handling is a Vital Part of a Fleet Safety Program
In spite of all safeguards, accidents will happen. Fleet drivers also need to be educated on how the company wants them to handle issues at the accident scene. In the event of injuries, of course, the top priority is to seek medical attention. Then, however, employees need to know proper reporting procedures to alert their employers of these incidents.
Having an accident while on the job can present many complications, which is why it is also important for workers to protect themselves by consulting with a workers’ compensation lawyer who also has extensive experience representing injured auto accident victims. For knowledgeable advice and support, call us at 800-948-0577 or use our convenient online contact form.