Setting the expectations for drivers through orientation and an initial training process is the basis for fleet safety.
Sedan & 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.
Any new employee, who will drive a company vehicle, should be given a formalised orientation or induction to provide training and outline the guidelines on the use of the vehicle.
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 true costs of accidents to organisations are nearly always higher than just the costs of repairs and insurance claims.
The benefits of managing work-related road safety can be considerable, no matter the size of your client’s business.
Complying with road laws is not necessarily a guarantee of optimum safety and this should only be considered a minimum safety standard. Industry best practice should be the goal.
Potential losses from a vehicle crash can be financially and emotionally devastating to both the employer and the employee.
The major benefit of an orientation program for drivers is to clearly set out the framework surrounding the use of vehicles on company business.
Other potential benefits of an orientation process:
- First opportunity to let employees know safety is the main priority
- Employees can meet other team members, which can help build loyalty
- Learn job task performance methods the safe and correct way to develop employee productivity
Orientation courses not only send a clear message from management on the importance and value of the fleet safety program, but help articulate the company’s overall safety program as well.
During the session, employees should have an opportunity to ask questions and clarify any aspects of the company’s fleet program they are unclear on.
The orientation program should be well defined and formal, with objectives of the session explained to the participants.
At a minimum, the following topics should be covered:
- Permitted use of the vehicle
- Required licence type
- Acceptable driving record
- Prohibited actions
- Defensive driver training
- Mobile phone use and related driving policies
- Accident procedures
- Vehicle garaging
- Maintenance responsibilities
- Security procedures where required
All staff who have access to a company vehicle or otherwise drive on company business should attend a driver orientation program. If training is not provided, new employees can be left to rely on casual training from fellow employees for required information or worse still, learn through a costly process of trial and error.
Providing driver orientation is a wise investment for a company that has any type of vehicle operations.