Safety First: Direct Vision Standards Being Set for HGVs

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A freight exchange is a great way to source drivers but once you’ve brought them into your fleet you’re going to want to ensure that they meet rigid safety standards and the best way to do that is to introduce an effective safety incentive scheme.

I say “effective” because while some companies you may come across on freight exchanges simply reward drivers for not having a collision over a set period, this does not actually aid you in developing a culture of safety awareness.

In short, a safety incentive scheme should not reward drivers for simply doing the job you are paying them to do, it should incentivise them to go ‘above and beyond’ in terms of safety. An ongoing fleet-wide scheme can do more than just improve safety and safety awareness: it can actually be a great way to boost morale amongst driver and help each member of your fleet feel as though they are part of a team.

There are several key factors in achieving this and creating an ongoing safety incentive scheme that will actually work.

Types of Incentive

Just because you have an ‘incentivised’ scheme does not necessarily mean that the incentive has to be cash. There are several different types of incentives which work well in encouraging drivers to feel part of your team.

• Recognition – Few of us ever feel that we get the recognition at work that we deserve so introducing a scheme which offers the most safety-conscious drivers trophies, certificates or a mention in the company newsletter can have a great effect. Make a big deal of presenting these recognition incentives so that other drivers can see what to aspire to and the drivers being rewarded feel they are being singled out for good conduct.

• Monetary Rewards – Whether it’s in the form of a cheque or some kind of financial advantage, monetary rewards are usually welcome and promote a healthy form of team competition amongst drivers.

Usually the best incentive schemes use a combination of the two types of reward. You could consider, for example, giving those in the first year of the scheme recognition rewards, while those who have maintained a longer track record of exemplary safety could progress on to monetary rewards.

Set Clear Criteria

Once you’ve decided what reward system you are going to use the next step is to ensure that the drivers themselves understand the scheme (especially if you are regularly bringing in new drivers from a freight exchange).

You will need to set out clear criteria for measuring safety so that you and the drivers are able to easily keep score and monitor their progress.

Remember to include things like:

• Chargeable accidents
• Violations
• Care and maintenance

Don’t forget to set out a clear time frame for the scheme so that drivers know when and how frequently they are likely to be rewarded.
A safety incentive program across your fleet should help to bring your team together, incorporate new drivers and improve safety throughout your operation so it’s well worth taking the time to set one up. Then sit back and watch your fleet’s safety record improve.
About author: Desiree Michels

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Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their online freight exchange, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching loads and with available drivers. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.

 

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