SETTING the expectations for drivers through orientation and an initial training process is the basis for fleet safety.
Sedan and light commercial fleet vehicles are one of the largest contributors to work-related death and injury across the country. Yet, Occupational Health & Safety data suggests this is one of the least well-managed areas.
Safety has to be integrated into operations to minimise the impact of both direct and indirect costs. Keeping drivers safe and on the road increases profitability and minimises the ‘soft’ costs of doing business.
The benefits of managing work-related road safety can be considerable, no matter the size of your client’s business. The true costs of accidents are far more than just the costs of repairs and insurance claims. The potential physical and emotional costs associated with a vehicle crash can easily run into tens of thousands of dollars.
All new employees should be given a formalised orientation and training on the use of company vehicles. Complying with road laws be considered a minimum safety standard but it is not necessarily a guarantee of optimum safety. Industry best practice should be the goal.
An orientation program for drivers should articulate the company’s safety program, its importance and value to the business and clearly establish the framework surrounding the use of vehicles on company business.
Other potential benefits of an orientation process include:
The orientation program should be well defined and formal, with objectives of the session explained to the participants. During the session, employees should have an opportunity to ask questions and clarify any aspects of the company’s fleet program.
At a minimum, the following topics should be covered:
All staff who have access to a company vehicle or drive on company business should attend a driver orientation program. The alternative is casual training from fellow employees or worse still, learning through a costly process of trial and error, or as we call it, ‘crash and crash through’.