Introduction

No matter the size of your fleet, you must have safety processes in place to ensure a reduction of on-road risk. Minimum safety standards for a successful fleet are based on the personal values, safety skills and knowledge required for both entry-level and experienced motor vehicle operators.

For a carrier to maintain a safe on-road fleet, policies and procedures must be defined companywide for management and non-management. Policies should establish the guidelines for how motor carriers and their employees behave in any given situation. Management commitment and employee involvement must be complementary. In an effective process, management regards worker health and safety as a fundamental value of the organization and applies its commitment to the health and safety process with as much vigor as to other organizational purposes. Management should provide the means through which workers develop and express their own commitment to health and safety. Written policies must also clearly establish procedures that insist on employee involvement by providing visible top management support. All levels of leadership should be involved through the allocation of people and resources.

Outlined procedures explain how to accomplish those policies successfully. Communication of these policies and procedures should outline a motor carrier's commitment so that everyone understands the expectations. Individual personnel will be assigned roles and responsibilities that will establish compliance with the company procedures. Subject matter training will then give personnel the adequate skills and knowledge to perform their assigned role. Once training has taken place and responsibilities have been established, then tracking results will enable the carrier to be aware of their employee's safety performance and compliance with its policies and procedures. With results in hand, the motor carrier now can take action to maintain or improve their employee's behavior, whether by positive reinforcement or disciplinary action led by refresher training.

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