Fleet Safety14 Nov 2019
Fleet safety is an important issue for all organisations that have people on the road.
The crash rates of at-work drivers are 30 – 40% higher than non-working drivers. This equates to 31 deaths annually and is the single largest category of work-related deaths in New Zealand.
As business operators, we all have an obligation to identify, assess and control the risks associated with vehicle use at work.
Managing fleet safety in your organisation
At a minimum, all organisations with fleet vehicles should be doing the following:
Develop and implement a safe driving policy
This is a document that outlines what’s expected of any employee who drives a work vehicle. It covers things like their responsibilities as a driver, code of conduct, the responsibilities of the organisation, a definition of safe driving, what to do in the event of an accident or incident, how adherence to the policy is measured and any incentives. A sample Safe Driving policy is available for download on the NZTA website.
Take an active role in encouraging your employees to drive safely
Safe driving should be woven into the culture of your organisation. Culture is typically determined from the top-down, so it’s important that the right behaviours are set at leadership level.
Share driving where possible
This is particularly important when long distances are being covered. If an employee is tired or feeling unwell, sharing the responsibility of driving should be encouraged to ensure everyone is kept safe.
Keep all vehicles well maintained and service vehicles regularly
Well-maintained vehicles that undergo regular checks are far less likely to have issues that can cause accidents. It’s that simple. Implement a robust maintenance and checks programme to ensure the safety of your people and others on the road.
Make informed vehicle selection choices – for use, safety and sustainability
Budget is often a critical deciding factor, but it should not be to the detriment of vehicle appropriateness for the task. If in doubt, seek help. There is plenty of information available to ensure you make good, well-informed choices about your fleet.
Promote and provide regular staff training for road and vehicle safety
Train, train and train some more. Refreshers can make all the difference. Regular training should be a line item in your budget.
Having a licence does not always mean that a driver is skilled, safe, understands all conditions and can manage them effectively. Training is the only way to keep your staff and the public safe on the roads.