Updated: Dec 20, 2021
Traffic on our roads is beginning increase again and there is a lot of people in our community suffering from stress and fatigue. These factors can create a high risk environment for professional drivers, and an increase to near miss reporting in a business.
Reporting Near Misses
Encourage your drivers to report their near miss traffic incidents, even if it was the other drivers fault. This information shows a record of the near miss history, as well as providing valuable information for training purposes. If the near miss involves a driver from another company, get in touch with the company. You should be communicating the incident, sending them the details of the near miss and advise them that you are looking in to the near miss / have closed out the incident. Many of these cases is a quick email informing the company that the incident has been noted.
Rule of Thumb is: A company that have company vehicles, with no near misses on the road, is a company that is not reporting all incidents.
If your vehicles have a dash cam that records sound, train your drivers to say out loud details that could be helpful. These details could include:
Vehicle number plate
Company name if applicable
What happened to cause near miss or accident
This information can then be played back and recorded at a later time.
Driver Fit For Work
Before starting work, drivers should be asking themselves if they are fit for work. They should ask themselves the following questions:
Am I under the influence of drugs (including prescription medicines) and/ or alcohol?
Am I distracted in anyway? (cellphone, noise, work pressure, home pressure, food / drinks being consumed)
Am I fatigued at all?
If drivers answer yes to any of these, alternative work should be allocated, work should stop until worker is fit for work or the worker be given time off.
Vehicle Fit For Use
Before starting work, a vehicle inspection should be carried out. If a vehicle has mechanical failures or is not suitable for the task (outside it’s limit / capability or incorrect vehicle for the job) the vehicle should not be used and the failures reported.
The driver needs to ensure loads are secured both inside the vehicle and on trailers before setting out on the road.
The public is one of the biggest hazards for professional drivers. It is important for the driver to be alert, have no distractions and be a defensive driver. Defensive driver techniques focus on anticipating dangerous situations. To do this the driver :
Expects the unexpected
Prepared for another driver/ pedestrians actions
Adjusts speed when required
Respects and is courteous to other drivers
Keeps safe following distances
Adjusts driving for the conditions (weather, traffic flow, road conditions)
Knows the vehicle and load limitations
Policies and Procedures
It is recommended that a company have a driving policy and a drug and alcohol policy in place. These policies outline company expectations of employees and provide framework to work alongside in the rare case of misconduct.
To set expectations and safe working practices a company should
encourage the following behaviour from their employees:
Always wear seat belts
Provide safe, suitable and well maintained vehicles
Encourage communication on safe work practices, comments and suggestion of improvements from employees
Manage driving hours and breaks to reduce fatigue
Limit peak hour driving
Set in place delivery / collection times to manage workloads
Collaborate with other businesses to coordinate vehicle movements on sites (Traffic Management Plan)
Encourage drivers to walk and assess a difficult to maneuver route on sites before attempting to drive it
Provide one-way systems to avoid reversing vehicles
Prevent overloading of vehicles
Our team are available if you require assistance with implementing policies, procedures, inspections, traffic management plans or assistance with incident reporting. Please contact us if you require any advice.
Our team are available if you require assistance with implementing policies, procedures, inspections, traffic management plans or assistance with incident reporting. Please contact us if you require any advice