Why Have a Fleet Safety Program?

The company should clearly state their policy regarding fleet safety and delineate what is expected to transpire as a result of its program. The overall intent of this program must be stated clearly. The program should incorporate the many facets of any good accident prevention effort. The fleet safety program should provide the framework for safety management of the company's vehicles/equipment and employees. The company needs to communicate program goals to drivers and supervisory personnel.

There must be a designated person with responsibility for safety and compliance with regulations. This designated person must assume responsibility to comply with existing regulations and implement and enforce the company rules and policies. This person must oversee the qualifying of operators/drivers and the care and safety maintenance of the company's fleet.

It is management's responsibility to recruit and screen new drivers, monitor driver qualifications and safety infractions, and provide training to upgrade drivers' skills and knowledge. The risk involved when drivers/operators are improperly hired or trained is a large liability for a company. These drivers/operators are expected to drive and operate a vehicle in a responsible and safe manner as they drive across public highways, move heavy or awkward loads in a safe manner, drive in precarious off-road situations, or transport hazardous materials or waste. Some more progressive companies are even using driving simulators to see if drivers/operators can react to actual driving situations without having to experience or react to live on-the-job events and scenarios that would be risker and result in more exposure. These simulators can be used for refresher training, postaccident training, or skill determination.

Management should provide a formal mechanism for investigating and reviewing accidents and monitoring maintenance and equipment safety. Management should also implement safe driving incentives and offer recognition to drivers who meet the required standard of performance. The company must constantly monitor the effectiveness of their fleet safety program.

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