A group of people come together to form a workforce and a culture develops. The culture is a collection of shared attitudes, beliefs and ways of behaving. A positive culture means the attitude towards safety is positive. This factor reduces the likelihood of the driving workforce being involved in collisions. Here are your 12 steps to a collision free culture for your drivers.
Good communication both ways between managers and your employees who drive for your business is a vital ingredient. Regular touch points with drivers allow fleet safety standards to be discussed and these act as regular reminders. A mix of formal and informal communication gives the best results.
An organisation that’s improving its performance will be learning from its mistakes and adjusting its course accordingly. Undertaking a regular audit to check your collision management procedures are being followed will give great information to learn from.
Health and safety focus
A strong focus on health and safety and its application to driving at work activities is a key requirement on all levels of your organisation.
External pressures from outside your organisation will undoubtedly have an influence on culture as they influence budgets and priorities. Risk assessment is a good tool for considering external factors and how they may impact your organisation. Contingency plans can then be completed.
Time and money are two vital ingredients for developing a collision free culture. Even when money is available, managers have little time for building fleet risk management procedures. No surprise then that the required improvements from safety related investments fail to materialise.
Improving fleet risk management is a team effort. People at all levels of your organisation will need to be involved, even if they are not a front line driver. For example, an administrator in the office should be following the driver distraction policy and refraining from phoning a colleague on a journey just as much as the driver should refrain from making a call from behind the wheel.
Senior managers must be visibly committed to accident prevention. Talking to drivers about their challenges will give opportunities to understand how to develop procedures and give more support.
Balance between operational pressures and safety
The need to meet contract and productivity targets is a top priority for the business. However, if it’s not balanced proportionally with safety, accidents will happen.
Good quality training
Training can take a range of formats from one to one behind the wheel, to classroom sessions to on line delivery. A mix of formats is good but the key to training efficacy is repetition, quality of content and a focus on collision prevention subjects.
A clean working environment
A clean and tidy depot or warehouse and a clean and tidy vehicle, they all send the right message and that positively impacts safety. They say a tidy desk shows a tidy mind and a tidy vehicle gives the same message.
We all seek recognition for a job well done. If your staff repay your trust and confidence by looking after your vehicle, a recognition scheme is a great way to give your employees a feeling of job satisfaction.
Individuals from different generations have different characteristics and each generation brings positive and negative features to the workplace. Research shows that a good proportion of older more experienced and socially stable employees in the driver pool results in fewer accidents, lower turnover and lower absenteeism.
Taking Small Steps
A culture cannot be changed overnight. A step by step approach is needed. This should start with taking stock on where you are now against the 12 factors noted above. Decide which are your highest priority factors, develop an action plan to improve those areas of concern and review progress over time. For more details see the HSE document Reducing Error And Influencing Behaviour.
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