If you run a company where you have to hire drivers, here are some tips that we believe will help you ensure that they perform and stay out of harm’s way.
1. Hire the Right People
A good hire does not happen by chance. Hiring the right person for the job requires a lot of research, considering that there is a lot on the line. According to some estimates, hiring the wrong person can cost as much as 30% of what the individual earns in their first year of work. The Balance Careers further states that this cost is often more than just monetary. A bad hire can impact time and waste management, the team, customers, and reputation.
When looking to hire a driver, make sure you take the time to do background checks that include following up on the individual’s driving record and experience. Check if they have any complaints filed against them and contact any previous employers for recommendations. Also, make sure the individual you plan on hiring is proficient in operating the type of vehicle they will be driving, understands the job requirements, and prioritizes safety above all else.
Should any drivers get into an accident whilst working be sure to contact The Stephens Law Firm Accident Lawyers.
2. Make Sure Your Drivers Get the Right Training
Considering that every job is different, remember that what the individual did before as a driver might not exactly translate for the new position they are about to take up. However, with proper training, most individuals will catch up fast and start to perform.
One way to train drivers is to create a well-documented certification program. Apart from understanding their aptitude, you will also have peace of mind knowing that they’re qualified for the position they are about to fill. As an employer, continual training is essential for two purposes: i) ensuring that your drivers continually adhere to company standards, and ii) ensuring their skills remain up to date and sharp.
3. Make Sure They Have All the Tools They Require
Even the best of drivers will not perform well if their vehicles aren’t well-maintained. It’s your responsibility as an employer to ensure your fleet is frequently assessed for issues and that routine maintenance is performed on all your vehicles to ensure they stay in great shape. Apart from that, they must have emergency communication devices installed.
Employers should always ensure that their vehicles all have essential equipment and tools on board. Every car/truck must have water, a well-equipped first aid kit, and emergency blankets.
4. Allow Them to Take Breaks
As an employer, keep in mind that your drivers and other employees, in general, are the face of your company. Apart from that, they have loved ones and families that expect them home safely after every shift. According to OSHA, well over 100,000 car accidents that happen each year result from drowsy or fatigued driving. Sadly, these accidents result in nearly 2,000 deaths and at least 40,000 injuries.
As an employer, please note that you play a crucial role when it comes to driver safety. Therefore, make sure you schedule regular breaks for your drivers to exit their vehicles, eat, hydrate, and relax. At the same time, make sure you set reasonable working hours for them. The federal government has put in place guidelines for how long drivers should operate commercial vehicles. Visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for a comprehensive list of hours of service regulations.
5. Think of Your Drivers as ‘Lone Workers’
Since drivers are generally alone in their vehicles, make sure you include them in your lone worker policies, which means they should receive the same resources, attention, and tools as other office employees. That means providing them with a fast, reliable, and easy way to communicate with administrators, co-workers, and business leaders, especially when they have an emergency.
AlertMedia offers professional and reliable employee communications software that’s easy to use and which causes no distractions. Instead of calling a network administrator or dispatch, the software allows them to communicate on any device they have with one touch of a button. Company notifications can be sent to them via push notification, a custom channel, SMS text, or a phone call.
For fast and reliable emergency communication, AlertMedia has developed an effective lone worker safety monitoring system and app specifically built to make contact in life-threatening situations easier. This app allows drivers to quickly signal for help when in need by letting their timed session expire or pressing a panic button.
6. Monitor Your Drivers’ Performance
When an employee is working alone, monitoring their performance can be difficult. As an employer, make sure you keep track of any police citations, passenger reports, and complaints filed against your drivers. Consider having supervisors ride along with your drivers regularly to gauge adherence to set standards and driving habits.
Installing a GPS tracking system on vehicles is an excellent way of tracking vehicle speeds and ensuring drivers perform their duties where and when required. Checking in with your drivers while they are on the road could also help ensure drivers stay on track, alert, and accountable.