Safety in the workplace is an important aspect of running a business and if you run a fleet of company vehicles, your safety policy needs to extend to anyone who is getting behind the wheel as part of their job.
Everyone understandably wants to avoid a collision with another car if they can help it, and if you have a safety plan in place, you can use it to educate drivers on good practices and make them aware of their obligations as an employee.
Why you need a vehicle safety policy
The purpose of a vehicle safety policy is to try and ensure the safety of any employees who drive a company vehicle.
Vehicle accidents are bad news all round, as they may result in injury to the driver and can be costly for the business in a number of different ways, such as repair costs and insurance surcharges.
The policy needs to set out the importance of driver responsibility, so that employees are aware of the need to drive their vehicle in a safe manner and to drive defensively, so that they can help prevent injury and property damage.
You need a vehicle safety policy document in place so that employees fully understand your company’s policies and procedures regarding the use of company vehicles and so that their responsibilities are clearly outlined in a written format.
Ensuring driver eligibility
Keeping accurate and update driver records is definitely a key factor and you need to use the safety policy to explain fully, driver’s license requirements.
A good way of ensuring driver eligibility is to use a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) authorization and release procedure. This release form should be completed by all prospective drivers so that you can confirm the driver’s history as well as verifying that they meet your minimum age and qualifying requirements.
Defining your accident policy
There is no question that accident and safety are important considerations and you should aim to try and cover every potential scenario and outcome in your document, so that employees understand exactly what your accident evaluation procedures are.
Take the time to discuss safe and defensive driving techniques and consider the idea of introducing a compulsory safety course for all company car drivers.
Even though you may well be dealing with experienced drivers, you will still need to discuss aspects of vehicle safety such as the use of seatbelts, airbags and other features on the vehicle, so that it is clear that you have outlined these aspects of safety prior to giving them access to a company vehicle.
Also make sure you make employees aware of the need to be vigilant if fatigue could be an issue and also outline your policy on cell phone usage in the vehicle.
It may sometimes seem that such a comprehensive safety document that covers so many aspects of driving a company vehicle, may not be necessary, but you would soon change your opinion if there was an accident.
Sebastian Hardy is a fleet manager with around 50 vehicles to keep on the road. He enjoys his job and gets great satisfaction from being able to discuss his work and offer up tips and ideas to others through his writing.