Fleet safety is more than just a task to be completed. The safety of your fleet should tie in directly with the culture of your organization. This creates a sense of importance beyond the obvious for all of your employees. The benefits of creating a robust fleet safety culture go far beyond reducing crashes. A safety culture can improve your entire organization while mitigating risk.
How to Implement a Safety Culture
This safety culture starts with you. Leading by example is a powerful practice and without practicing fleet safety culture best practices yourself, your employees may not follow suit. A common challenge we hear from Safety Managers is creating a sense of commitment to safety throughout their organization. In other words, they need to create a true culture around the notion of safety.
In order to get your team on board, and to ensure a lasting commitment to the initiative, be sure to be clear and include them in your efforts.
Be Transparent about Policies and Responsibilities
The goals and benchmarks that you set for your safety culture should be understood by everyone in your organization, from leadership to hourly employees. Get your leadership team on board in making sure that your fleet safety plan is clear to all from the start, including with their own full understanding and support.
Create a Safety Committee
To create a culture, you have to include those who operate within your organization. Build a team of workers from differing positions, this will help to widen the perspective and create a plan that covers all bases. Let your workers voice their safety concerns, and encourage their involvement in order to heighten their engagement.
Encourage your team to report accidents and injuries by educating them on the importance of such reports. When a mistake happens, it’s not uncommon for workers to hesitate to report the incident. Nip those anxieties in the bud by including literature on the importance of reports. A clear understanding of the discipline process will help to ease their hesitations as well.
Evaluate Your Processes
Get the perspective of those who are using your systems on a daily basis to evaluate if they’re functioning well, or need an update. Gain an understanding of the challenges your employees face and explore fleet safety programs that will make those challenges less difficult. Implementing continuous driver monitoring and video-based training can be an immediate solution to missteps.
If and when an incident does occur, it’s important to work together to identify the root of the problem. Then work backward to resolve the issue and include a plan to mitigate the opportunity for a repeat offense.
Give Positive Reinforcement
Everyone on your team deserves a pat on the back for taking part in fleet safety culture within the organization. As you start to adjust to the new safety culture, celebrate successes and use those successes as motivation. Empower your team by connecting their short term successes to longer-term goals.
If you commit to an effective fleet safety culture for your organization, the job of Safety Manager becomes an organization-wide initiative. Protect your organization, your drivers, and your team by implementing a program that prioritizes fleet safety.