On this blog, we talk a fair amount about creating a safety culture in your business among your drivers and staff because safety is a priority for all fleets. There are so many components involved in integrating safety into all aspects of your fleet’s operations. Still, one of the most critical factors in your business’s safety culture is ensuring that your employees have a strong foundation of knowledge surrounding safe habits. That’s why you need to have an effective safety training program that introduces your fleet drivers to the specific safety concerns of your workplace and how to address them. This article will discuss how to create a fleet drivers’ safety training program and the critical components that make one up.
Step 1: Create an Outline
This may be an obvious first step, but it is no less vital to ensuring that your safety training is organized and effective. When beginning the outline progress, you will want to meet with key stakeholders, including your legal sales or service, risk management, human resources, or other representatives in the company who will need to partake in discussions relating to your team’s safety.
It may help to organize your outline into bullet points. Some bullets that might be beneficial to include might be:
- Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs)
- Rewards Programs
- Accident Review
Step 2: Obtain Proper Approvals
Once you complete the outline, you will need to present it to the proper authorities to get approvals to go forward with your fleet safety program. If you can get support for your program, it will be easier to implement it in the future.
You should first get approval from your immediate supervisor. Be sure to emphasize that you want the program approved by a senior executive and be ready to justify why. This way, your direct supervisor can help your program get through the ranks to the executive suite.
Your approvals should come in an e-mail or a hard copy memo from the CEO that endorses the program. Ensure that it gives you the full authority to enforce the program without exception.
Step 3: Expand on the Program
Once the outline has passed the approval process, it’s time to flesh out the details of the outline. These details include how it will be announced and implemented. Later in this article, we will cover specific details that your safety training program should include. Still one crucial aspect is that these factors be communicated clearly to the team to ensure that they understand what is expected and can perform to the best of their abilities.
Step 4: Implement the Program
Now, you are ready to introduce and implement the program. You can formally announce your new program via e-mail or through the fleet website, or through any method you otherwise choose. You just need to make sure that it is easily accessible to all employees. Make sure you include the executive endorsement and ensure the tone of the announcement is positive. Emphasize your concern for safety and be detailed about each element of the safety training program. If you introduce the program smoothly, the implementation should also go smoothly.
Determine what form the training of drivers should take, such as behind-the-wheel training. Be sure to include meetings, whether online or in person, as long as you regularly check in with your employees. If drivers have high points on the MVR, you will want to emphasize mandatory additional formal training. No matter the training method you choose, make adjustments as you feel necessary to make it more effective.
Elements Your Safety Training Program Should Include
- Commitment from Management: Ensure that you have executive support.
- Standard Operating Procedures: Procedures for all drivers to obey, including qualifications, license requirements, responsibilities, and accident procedures
- Vehicle Maintenance Plan: Vehicle inspection, repair, and replacement procedures
- Driver Identification: Define which employees are authorized to drive which vehicles for what purpose
- Driver Behavior Monitoring: Track driver performance data with fleet safety technology
- Safety Policies and Guidelines: Address all drivers and include policies for distracted driving, safety restraints, personal vehicle use, and defensive driving. Review these policies frequently.
- Accident Response Plan: Drivers should be prepared to respond to and report accidents
- Efficient Scheduling: Give drivers enough time to complete their trips without rushing and communicate with drivers clearly
- Thorough Screening Process: Include criminal history checks, traffic violation history, drug/alcohol violation history, MVRs, drug testing, and physical exams when hiring new employees.
- Driver Training: Include training programs for task-specific vehicles and implement refresher training as necessary
Use Azuga’s Technology To Enhance Training
Azuga offers a variety of fleet technology that can be used to support your safety training program, from dashcams that provide contextual footage to coaching videos catered to drivers based on safety scores derived from telematics. If you want to optimize your drivers’ training, you should undoubtedly partner with Azuga. See what we can do together by requesting a demo today.