Best Practice Guide for Driver Safety at Work – Guest Post
Whether an employee is heading across town for a meeting or across the country to deliver goods, employers should maximize their safety on the road. From smart workplace policies that help to prevent accidents to proactive safety programs that minimize risk, employers have many options when it comes to promoting driver safety at work.
Any employer that expects its employees to drive for work-related purposes—no matter the distance—should implement a driver safety program to reduce risks. This program begins with written safety policies that are distributed to all employees. These policies should include clear, enforceable rules for employees that drive on the job. Topics can include safe driving practices, situations in which employees should not drive—for example, if they are exhausted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol—and the necessity of following Australian driving laws.
Employers can supplement this driving policy with mandatory training for employees who drive on the job. Such training allows employers to review its safety policies with employees and advise them how to proceed should a car accident occur. If employees are expected to drive specific vehicles, the training can even include hands-on practice driving those vehicles with an instructor. This training creates knowledgeable employees who are aware of the risks and rules related to on-the-job driving.
Additionally, employers should conduct risk assessment to minimize the chances of accident, injury, or death. First, employers can minimize risks by ensuring that all employees who drive on the job are properly licensed according to Australian law. Risk assessment also includes identifying drivers most at risk of an accident and the causes of those risks. Risks identified during the assessment should be incorporated into the organization’s driving policies and training program.
Ensuring the safety of the vehicles that employees use is another way to promote driver safety at work. If employees use company-provided vehicles, it is the employer’s responsibility to conduct regular maintenance on the vehicles to keep them in proper working condition. Employees who use their own cars for work-related driving should be encouraged to keep their cars in optimal working condition as well.
An effective driver safety program should also include clear procedures for employees to follow when an accident or incident occurs. Policies should not solely be punitive, which can deter employees from reporting a car accident. Instead, employers should have an open-door policy with employees regarding driving incidents, which can encourage employees to report and remedy the issue. Once reported, accidents should be investigated to determine if they were preventable. If they were, the organization should talk with employees about how to prevent similar accidents in the future.
Finally, employers can maximize driver safety by establishing an incentive program for good driving. Awards for the safe driver of the month or year, coupled with a small reward, such as a gift card, can encourage drivers to stay safe on the roads. Further, employers can also offer small quarterly bonuses to employees who do not have a driving incident during that quarter. These small incentives can go a long way in promoting driver safety at work.
Employers must be proactive in keeping their employees safe on the road. A well-planned driver safety program is key in encouraging safe driving. In addition, driver safety should be an openly discussed topic in the workplace between management and employees. The result will be well-trained drivers who make an extra effort to stay safe.
Post contributed by Helen Rymore, a freelance legal writer on behalf of Personal Injury Claim specialists Injury Settlement Guide.