In a commercial fleet, safety is paramount. You want your drivers safe, your vehicles safe, and for your fleet to be the subject of zero damage on the road. To accomplish this, however, it's important to build a company/fleet culture of safety. While many companies say things like "safety first", it takes real effort to create an environment where safety is truly a top priority both inside HQ and out on the road.
Fortunately, fostering a culture of safety is a project that any fleet can tackle. If you are ready to take your fleet's dedication to safety to the next level, so are we. Let's take a closer look at the steps you can take to build a stronger safety culture within your fleet.
Make Safety a Stated Company Value
First, put safety at the top of your company or fleet values, We know that fast, reliable, and high-quality service are part of your mandate. But to deliver these things, safety comes first. Let your teams know that safety is (or should soon be) at the core of your company culture, including attentive vehicle maintenance, careful driving, and caution near any known hazards.
Enact Safety Programs that Reward Safe Driving
Don't just talk about safety, make it a more encompassing company policy. Start or build on your fleet's Safety Program. Create a structure that includes safety training, mentorship, technology, and rewards. Here, rewards are essential. Incentivize drivers to operate their vehicles carefully and reward drivers whose records show safety on the road.
You can even use things like telematics and device tracking to identify who is driving gently and who is achieving good route times with the fewest taps on their phone or nav screen.
Ask for Driver Feedback: What Works, What is Distracting, and Ideas for Improvement
Always include your drivers. Instead of delivering safety mandates from on-high, ask your drivers how it's working. If you install new tech in the vehicles, ask drivers if it makes them feel more or less capable, and whether anything is causing distractions. You can and should also ask about any safety improvements your drivers might suggest. After all, they're the ones out on the roads and might have some great ideas for better safety measures.
Emphasize Individual Safety Responsibility
Help every driver to understand that their safety and, to some extent, the safety of their vehicle is in their hands. Many people in a job feel that the employer controls everything, including safety. But in a fleet, your drivers are the primary source of their own safety. Emphasizing individual responsibility for safety is a great way to encourage everyone to take safety into their own hands for both safe driving and minimum distractions on the road.
Encourage Your Team to Look Out for Each Other
Lastly, encourage your team to work as a team toward your safety goals. If one team member notices loose equipment in a buddy's truck, they share that responsibility to stow or mention it. The same is true of passengers riding in a fleet vehicle. Passengers who can handle tech can significantly reduce the risk of distracted driving for their driver by taking calls, managing routes, and adjusting the radio.
Foster a Culture of Safety in Your Fleet
Safety is always the top priority in a commercial fleet because, without safety, nothing else could get done. Make sure your team knows that you value their safety, and that you are putting the ability to optimize safety into their hands. Accept feedback, encourage teamwork, and always remember to periodically reward your safest drivers.
For more fleet safety and fleet management insights, contact us today! Wilmar is honored to be a part of your safe fleet planning.