Many of the new clients that we have partnered with recently have been looking to provide safety incentive programs to their local and long haul drivers as part of their overall driver safety improvement strategy. It is no wonder considering the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, reported over 135,000 non-fatal collisions in 2008 alone. Some of our new clients have thousands of employees utilizing company vehicles and improving their driving safety record is vital to bottom line results.
There are two types of safety programs that I recommend to clients with local and long haul drivers- safety award booklet programs or onetime gifts and online point bank or ongoing incentive programs.
Improving Safety with Award Booklet Programs
Safety award booklet programs are ideal for local shipping companies with workers who are in and out of a main office on a regular basis. The safety award booklet program allows management to present a safety award to a driver who has reached a particular goal of the safety program, i.e. perfect attendance for the quarter, passing a safety belt spot check or completing a set of safety training. The safety award booklet comes with online and fax or mail-in instructions and allows the driver to select a safety award from a given priced collection of over 70 merchandise-based gifts.
By providing a safety award in public, managers of a shipping company can reinforce desired safety behavior. In addition, it allows management to send a message to the peers of the person being awarded on what kinds of safe behavior the organization is emphasizing and rewarding.
Improving Safety with Ongoing Incentive Programs
Online safety incentive programs are an excellent solution for long haul drivers as the safety program can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. As drivers reach safety goals, they receive points which can be redeemed for a safety award or banked for an award from a higher priced collection later on. When points are awarded to drivers they are notified via email along with their unique username and password to access the safety program. Drivers can look at their safety program account online to find out how many points they have earned, what kind of safety awards are available for them to spend their points on and all of the goals of the safety program that they are eligible to work towards achieving.
Ongoing programs are perfect for companies who want to roll out safety goals over time. Several of my clients with online safety incentive programs start out with simple safety goals such as achieving perfect attendance for the quarter and reporting near misses. Then each quarter after the safety program is implemented, new goals can be added to the online safety incentive program to ensure the program is relevant and successful over time. Examples of safety goals that can be rolled out after the initial set up of the safety program include: completing safety training and fatigue prevention classes, proposing an action to improve safety on the road, passing safety spot checks, participating in a safety audit, participating in a safety committee, coaching other drivers in safety compliance, renewing a safety commitment statement and reporting property damage.
In order to substantially improve the safety record of a given local or long haul shipping company, driver safety programs are often a vital component of an organization’s overall safety improvement strategy. By focusing on attainable safety goals such as the ones mentioned and awarding safe behavior with merchandise rewards, clients of ours are able to decrease their workers’ compensation claims and the cost of insurance while improving driver engagement and retention.