July-August 2018

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30 PalletCentral • July-August 2018 riving is a central part of the pallet business, and a key reason why vehicle safety is essential to you and your company. Fleet-related accidents can cost you big time. In almost every case, when a driver gets into an accident, you are dealing with both vehicle and possibly driver downtime. Implementing an effective safety program will save your fleet a lot of money in operational, fuel and personnel costs. Many motor vehicle crashes are preventable, therefore every manager and employee has a role in stopping accidents before they happen. Accident prevention is a lofty goal, but it is crucial to protecting drivers, products and budgets. Across all drivers—on the job or not—accidents on the road remain a major cause of tragic fatalities. There are many causes for accidents. Overloaded vehicles, improperly secured loads and limited visibility are hazards that contribute to single-vehicle crashes. However, distracted driving has become a major concern for lawmakers, employers and the general public. Both high-tech and low-tech distractions and hazards are a threat to safe roadways, including cell phones, GPS devices and eating and drinking. Fortunately, a focus on fleet safety can help reduce risk exposure and prevent fatal accidents. Commercial fleet safety depends on having a clear fleet safety plan, hiring and training safe drivers and making use of telematics and digital tools. Fleet Safety Program It isn't enough to read or talk about fleet safety—it needs to be formally integrated into the workplace. A comprehensive written safety program forms the foundation of any safe workplace. The first recommended element of a fleet safety program is a safety mission statement. Think about how fleet safety relates to the core values of your organization and your business goals. The written program should also include formal rules for expected and prohibited behaviors. That includes: • Rules on personal use of vehicles • Safe driving guidelines • Guidelines for load securement and shifting and falling cargo • Cell phone and distracted driving policies • Procedures for safe vehicle operations In the written program, also include policies on the hiring, screening, selection, monitoring and evaluation of employees as drivers. In addition, outline: • Driver qualification guidelines • Defensive driving training requirements • Accident review procedures • Accountability for drivers and supervisors • Drug and alcohol screening procedures • Annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) checks D Fleet Safety Program Nurtures Driver Safety By F. Douglas Hoyle, ASP, CSP, National Loss Control Director, PLM INSURANCE

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