Fleet Europe °116

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SAFETY

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STEPS TO A SAFER FLEET Jonathan Manning

Lower your risk, cut your collision rates and reduce your insurance premiums with a well-structured safety programme.

not view fleet safety in 1 Do isolation

board needs to take the 3 The lead

“A lot of organisations will have robust practices, procedures and policies for safety in their manufacturing plants,” said Mr Cuerden. “It is strategically important that road safety is seen as no less important.”

These are the executives who influence middle managers.

Road safety has to be perceived at all levels of a business as part of its normal operational procedures and practices, said Andy Cuerden, Managing Director, Europe, eDriving.

the benefits of an effec2 Sell tive road safety programme internally

“Ensure the senior leadership teams understand how detrimental road safety practices or a laissez-faire attitude can negatively impact on how they operate as a business,” said Mr Cuerden.

FLEET EUROPE #116

“They may not perceive how much vehicle collisions are costing and how much of an impact they are having on the bottom line.” One of eDriving’s first clients, BT, found that in the early 2000s, collisions and other road incidents were costing it $25 million in direct losses and three to four times more in indirect costs. In business terms, it took approximately 600,000 product sales to cover the annual cost of fleet claims.

“Get your strategy right first, get the leadership engaged and get them to drive the ownership of any road safety initiative or programme,” said Mr Cuerden.

4 Engage line managers

The people who manage drivers on a day-to-day basis have a huge role to play in reinforcing safety messages and ensuring that operational demands do not compromise employee safety. Unrealistic targets for the number of client visits that staff should make during a day and expecting employees to receive phone calls while driving can significantly increase road risk. “There should not be a conflict between keeping employees safe and asking them to perform their operational duties effectively,” said Mr Cuerden. “Ensure managers understand that allowing employees to perform their day-to-day tasks in a safe manner will lead to more consistent business performance. If a driver is off the road two or three times per year because a vehicle is getting repaired or they are injured, then the downtime operationally is far greater than trying to insist they make one or two extra calls per day, which might lead them to speed.”

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Andy Cuerden: “There should not be a conflict between keeping employees safe and asking them to perform their operational duties effectively.”

and encourage 5 Support drivers

Make sure every driver knows what is expected of them, said Mr Cuerden. “This is where your policy comes in. Drivers need to be aware that they have responsibilities as individuals to perform their driving in a responsible manner.” Safety policies have to be well-managed, well-policed and well-respected to be effective, added Mr Cuerden, but they also need to be infused with the message that organisations want their employees to be safe.