Minnesota companies that manage a fleet of employee-operated vehicles face a unique set of risks as they rely on their workers to be trustworthy in driving work vehicles safely and responsibly. While it would be ideal for management to rely completely on their workers understanding of traffic laws, they cannot control what their workers choose to do while behind the wheel. If companies are to effectively get their product or service to waiting consumers, they have to actively encourage driver safety and efficiency among fleet members.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, fatalities from car accidents are the leading cause of death among workers in the United States. While considerable focus is placed on truckers and high-risk workers, the urge to drive safely and responsibly should be driven home to all employees that operate a work vehicle at any time.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggests several precautions that companies can take to mitigate their risks. These include the following:
- They can implement a thorough method for reporting and investigating accidents.
- They can actively revise and modify written policies to reflect their expectations.
- They can lay out a system for disciplining employees who fail to comply with regulations.
- They can require checks of motor vehicle records.
- They can ensure that regular maintenance and required repairs to company vehicles are made on time.
Companies that involve senior management in their efforts to encourage driver safety may experience a more effective outreach to their workers. They should also play an active role in articulating protocols for driver safety.