If you have a fleet, no matter how large or small, a fleet safety management policy is essential. This policy represents a commitment to a culture of safety and provides guidelines for how vehicles will be used, procedures for what to do in the event of a crash and plans for how to decrease the number of crashes or incidents that occur.
Typically, a fleet safety management policy will include everything from the protocol for screening and selecting drivers to procedural guidelines on safe vehicle operation and how to handle crashes and traffic violations. The policies and procedures section will need to be reviewed by all employees. It should include implementation training and provide for regular, scheduled refresher training courses to ensure that the policy is fully adopted and understood.
A fleet safety management policy should be tailored to your company’s specific needs, location and culture. Here are some provisions to consider when developing a fleet safety management policy for your company.
What Is Your Safety Mission Statement?
You probably can recite your company’s mission statement in your sleep; it helps guide decisions and policy in every department. A safety mission statement can do the same; it helps you develop and set goals and gives every employee a clear understanding of your objectives, expectations and your plans for achieving them.
Defining that big picture can help you decide what needs to be included in your fleet safety management policy. It can remind you that this is more than just a set of rules; it’s a map of your company’s safety culture and a reference guide to the quality standards to which everyone in the company is held accountable.
What Does Your Fleet Include?
When you begin to look at the vehicles your company or organization owns, you might be surprised to realize it is larger than you think. While some of the vehicles are obvious, such as cars, pickup trucks and vans, some other vehicles tend to get overlooked.
Smaller vehicles, such as all-terrain utility vehicles, riding lawn mowers and self-propelled snow blowers also fall under the domain of fleet management. Make sure that your safety management policy includes these vehicles, too, and has a section to outline safety policies and procedures for the use of those less traditional members of the fleet.
Who Are Your Drivers?
Just as you may need to expand the idea of what type of vehicles your fleet includes, you should also broaden the idea of who your drivers are and how that could affect your fleet safety policy. Think about employees who use their own vehicles for business purposes and how that should factor into your overall guidelines.
Make sure you include anyone who drives on behalf of your business, whether they are using company vehicles, rented cars/trucks or personal vehicles.
What Do Your Drivers Need?
All fleets are not created equal — and neither are their drivers. Avoid falling into the trap of using a templated safety policy, because it may not cover some of the genuine concerns and challenges that your employees face.
Involve your drivers in the process by asking what’s working well for them and what’s not. What complaints or challenges do they have, and how could changes to the existing safety policy improve those situations for them? Do they have suggestions for how those changes should be implemented?
Asking for such involvement will do more than help you create a policy that is relevant to your company’s employees, it also will help them feel they have been heard and understood and increase company-wide acceptance and compliance.
How Will This Policy Be Implemented?
Implementing a policy doesn’t happen overnight. It takes the buy-in of top-level executives, department heads and drivers. Support from company leadership enables implementation, while support from drivers will help ensure that it is taken seriously and followed.
A formal, ongoing process of screening drivers and providing refresher training will be important to your policy’s success. That will result in in safer, more satisfied employees and more efficient fleet operations. It will also create a clearly defined safety culture that is committed to success.
Smith System’s KeySix™ Driver Metrics can help with your fleet management solutions and can integrate easily into your existing system. To learn more about how we can improve the overall safety of your fleet, contact the Smith System team of experts today.