How to prevent common safety violations. A short guide for Fleet Managers
The technology and vehicle safety standards have improved significantly. But despite that, road accidents are very common. The fleet managers put their constant efforts into preventing safety violations.
So, if you are also a fleet manager, you must have well-maintained trucks and well-trained drivers. You can start by setting up safety policies and procedures so that you can take action whenever there’s a violation. Enforcing these rules won’t completely eliminate the possibility of accidents, but it will create a safe and synchronized work environment for your fleet.
Why does Fleet Safety Matter?
There are several direct and indirect losses that incur due to poor road safety.
- Negative publicity
- Reputational damage
- Efforts in dealing with the fallout
- Increased insurance premiums
- Shaken employees’ trust
- Legal issues
- Lost employee time
- Recruitment cost to replace a driver
- Delayed deliveries
- Court fines
- OSHA fines
- Costs excluded in insurance like worker’s compensation
- Poor productivity
How Can Fleets Prevent the Most Common Safety Violations?
Here are the top 3 pervasive compliance infractions that fleet managers must look into to prevent safety violations.
1. Faulty Brake Systems
As per 2022’s international Roadcheck, more than 4,500 commercial vehicles had faulty brakes. Fleets have to check their brake system to the right degree on every pre and post-trip inspection checklist. They should look for flawed chambers, clamps, pushrod, slack adjusters, etc. It’s not sufficient to just check some parts of brake systems’ components; this is highly risky.
Detailed and comprehensive brake system inspection should be done by planning daily, weekly, fortnightly, and monthly checks. This should depend upon the durability and wearability of each component. You can take the help of vehicle inspection applications and software to plan tasks and manage reports. These programs can be on the lookout for loose chambers daily, check rotors for cracks weekly, and inspect air system moisture monthly.
2. Damaged Tires
Over 3,300 trucks were halted at the 2022 international Roadcheck. The common reasons of safety violations include exposed fabric, belt material, not meeting the criteria of minimum tread depth, etc. As tires are very crucial to driver’s safety, defects in even a single one can designate your vehicle completely out-of-service. You aren’t even permitted to go to the nearest truck stop to get it replaced or fixed.
Thus, as a fleet manager, you must take the tire health very seriously. This is important from a safety and cost perspective.
There are many applications and smart devices that can help you with that. These devices allow you to take pictures of defects found during inspection.
Thousands of trucks are marked as out-of-service for having defective lights during roadchecks. It’s relatively easier to find flaws in lights if you regularly inspect your vehicle; you can know if they are working or not by just switching them on. At times, defected lights lead to a more thorough inspection of the vehicle that helps you find other flaws.