Using Fleet Management to Improve Safety in Construction
Safety is always a concern in the construction industry, and this concern extends to the use of any vehicles owned by a company. Efficiency is important when it comes to fleet management, but cost-cutting and working more quickly should never come at the expense of safety. In fact, safety and efficiency can work in tandem, and the tips below can help you achieve this.
A Culture of Safety
Encouraging a culture of safety among your fleet just as you would on a construction site is an important step. This means making it a priority and not penalizing drivers when they take steps to do something more safely even if it takes longer. In fact, incentives are one of the best ways to motivate drivers. These incentives might include bonuses and extra days off. You should have specific policies that you put in writing so that there is no ambiguity about your expectations. Drivers should be well-trained and should also be encouraged to take time off if they are under the weather. This in turn increases morale and helps you retain your well-trained drivers.
While some of these extras may cost money in the short run, over the long run, they will help in practical ways and will contribute to the type of culture you are trying to promote. You can review a guide on collision avoidance systems and other items in the next wave of technology that will improve safety. Adaptive cruise control does not just reduce speeding but helps ensure that a vehicle remains at a good distance from others. There is also technology that will help with braking and give a warning when a vehicle starts to drift into another lane. In addition, you should make sure all your vehicles have the standard necessary equipment that they might need based on where you live, such as four-wheel drive or snow tires.
Vehicles are only as safe as their equipment, so regular maintenance is crucial. You should have a schedule for inspecting your fleet but should also encourage drivers to report any issues as soon as possible so that they can be addressed. Telematics can be a great way to gather important data about everything from how vehicles are working to driver behavior and more. While dangerous practices must be stopped, the focus when gathering behavioral information should be on rewarding drivers rather than punishment. Drivers should also be empowered to monitor their own vehicles for issues such as fluid levels or low tire pressure and to act as needed to address them.
Careful route planning can increase safety in several different ways. Choosing the optimal route gives your fleet employees plenty of time to do what they need to do so that they are not making compromises in order to work more efficiently. It also gives you the opportunity to plan around specific hazards. For example, if you know that one road is particularly busy and has a lot of blind curves on it or other hazards, you can plot a different route.