The fleet safety team is a crucial part of the overall management team in any company that’s serious about fleet safety. That team basically sets the overall atmosphere in terms of safe driving expectations. That means that a strong team creates a positive environment for fleet safety from the CEO down. In fact, the CEO should fully support the team’s effort and should be one of its strongest proponents by providing a suitable budget to implement a successful program. That program should include the following players.
The fleet safety manager
The fleet safety manager is the backbone of a fleet safety program. His vision should guide the overall fleet safety plan and he should be responsible for motivating the company’s employees to “buy-in” to the fleet safety program. Usually, the more dynamic and inspiring that the fleet safety manager is, the more successful a program will usually be.
As far actual responsibilities, the fleet manager usually sets the program’s overall policies, whether it’s pre-screening procedures, on-going employee screening, setting up vehicle maintenance schedules, or continuing education. For example, the fleet safety manager might schedule and set-up guest speaking engagements for quarterly training on such topics as “safe driving tips” and “what do to in emergency situations.”
The fleet safety officer (or the fleet safety’s assistant)
The fleet safety officer basically acts like the fleet safety manager’s right hand person. He helps insure that policies and procedures are followed and works directly with department heads in ensuring compliance. The fleet safety officer is usually responsible for investigating any accidents that occur (especially in a company with over 50 employees), and reports those findings to the fleet safety manager. In addition, he’s an integral part in keeping safety awareness a top priority in a company.
Even though department heads still have their usual job duties, they are the actual backbone of any successful fleet safety program. That’s because they are responsible for instilling safety awareness on a daily basis to their employees and maintaining overall safety standards within their department. If an employee reports that a vehicle’s brakes sound noisy, then that department head needs to request a vehicle inspection as soon as possible. With his immediate intervention, he can be directly responsible for maintaining the highest level of fleet safety.
Advanced warning systems such as adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning systems can greatly improve a company’s overall fleet safety.