Road Safety Plan Basics
Great! You’ve decided to build or improve a program to address road safety priorities in your organization. But, you may be wondering about what belongs in a road safety plan and the steps to follow to create one. This site is structured to provide a process and the resources you’ll need to accomplish the task.
First, the plan needs to fit your organization. It needs to address the driving-related hazards employees face and be written in language they understand and can easily apply. Fortunately, the same basic concepts apply whether the company is large or small or if your workers operate company-owned vehicles or employee-owned vehicles.
Use a familiar framework
A road safety plan should have the same characteristics as any other effective safety plan. If your organization already has a safety plan that works for non-road safety matters, it probably makes sense to simply integrate road safety policies, procedures and practices into that framework.
Because employees are already familiar with that system - the terms it uses, how policies are worded and communicated, training protocols, how responsibilities are assigned to managers, supervisors and employees – using a familiar framework will reduce additional new work and speed the rate at which people understand, adopt and apply road safety measures.
You might look at your existing safety plan and decide road safety deserves a fresh approach. Or, you might not have a safety plan to build upon. Either way, like other business planning mechanisms, road safety is a cyclical continual improvement process. This concept is integrated into many familiar business strategies –, the “Plan / Do / Check / Act” cycle, ISO 9000, Lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, and others.
Objectives and benefits
The main objective of a road safety program is to put in place a system to eliminate hazards and reduce the risks employees face when they get behind the wheel. Measures implemented through the road safety program are designed to prevent motor vehicle crashes, and minimize the human and financial costs of injuries and property damage they incur.
In addition to protecting employee health and safety, complimentary benefits of a road safety program include increased vehicle uptime and utilization, greater employee engagement, attraction and retention, increased productivity – all of which contribute to a stronger bottom line.
The process includes these basic ideas.
Assess the current situation – If your organization is experiencing motor vehicle crashes, identify where / when / why they are occurring or re-occurring. If you have so far managed to avoid crashes, look for gaps in your system. To what driving hazards are your employees most frequently exposed? Which hazards have the greatest potential consequence?
Plan your actions – Once you have identified the concerns you want to address and established priorities based on frequency of occurrence and the magnitude of potential consequence, decide what your organization is going to do about each of them and describe the policies, procedures and practices that will accomplish your objectives.
Implement the plan – Communicate the rationale, the processes and the specific steps to everyone that needs to know, conduct necessary training and apply the measures you decided upon.
Check on your progress – As implementation proceeds, you (and others in the organization) will want to know whether the road safety program is achieving intended results. Decide how you will measure success. Collect that information and track results.
The second part of checking your progress is evaluating your results. Are the measures working? If not, why? What steps can be adjusted to improve results? If that sounds much like “assess the current situation”, it should. That’s the continual improvement process.
Two critical components
Two other elements are critical to success – management commitment and employee engagement. To achieve your goals, you need the resolve, support and visible commitment of management, and the willingness and involvement of the people who have to live the measures. Management commitment and employee engagement are the very lifeblood of a road safety program.
- If you’re just starting out to build your road safety plan, click here.
- If you want to strengthen your existing road safety plan, click here.