Put Journey Management to Work

Effective journey management relies on conscientiously answering three questions.

1.  Is travel necessary?

Increasingly, the answer to the first question is, "No!" These days, there are ways to communicate with customers, clients, patients, suppliers and employees, and get work done without being there in person. Here are a few tools you can use to avoid travel.

  • Working from home
  • Telephone
  • Emails
  • Video-conferencing
  • Online meetings
  • Courier or delivery service

Using any of these alternatives eliminates exposure to driving-related hazards; there is zero likelihood that an employee will be injured in a vehicle crash while they are in an online meeting.

2. If travel is necessary, are there alternatives to driving?

If it is necessary to travel to another location, choosing a travel mode other than driving reduces exposure to driving-related hazards. The list of options includes:

  • Public transit buses, Sky-Trains – scheduled, reliable, cost-effective and often quicker than driving, plus avoids the cost and trouble of parking
  • Taxis – you control pick-up and drop-off locations as well as departure and arrival times
  • Walking or cycling – good for you and good for the environment
  • Planes – flights involve far less time, effort and risk than driving hundreds of kilometres

Any of these alternatives eliminates exposure to the driving-related hazards. Instead, they substitute exposure to lesser hazards. Your employee might be injured if the bus or taxi crashes, or if they are struck by a motorist while cycling to a meeting. However, the probability of any of those events occurring is, on average, considerably lower than being involved in a vehicle crash.

3. If driving is necessary, what controls will be put in place to minimize associated risks?

Let's face it - driving is simply a necessary part of many work functions. That's why the second part of journey management is important - looking for and deciding on the controls and actions that will be put in place to reduce the likelihood an employee will experience a crash, injury or other negative consequence. There are three easy steps.

  • Step one - identify potential hazards

    Thinking about the trip ahead, the supervisor, driver and passenger (if any) can reasonably anticipate the hazards they might encounter. Use the driver / journey / vehicle framework to methodically identify potential hazards. You can also refer to the comprehensive list of driving-related hazards in the Road Hazard Inventory.

    If you have made the same trip before, think back to what you experienced. Think ahead to changed circumstances (such as traffic patterns) or conditions (such as winter weather) that are likely to present new or unusual hazards.

    If you haven't made that trip before, talk to a co-worker or someone else who has. Listen to their suggestions on how you can avoid the hazards they encountered. Gather information through sources such as DriveBC or online map services.

  • Step two - decide what will be done to avoid or minimize exposure

    For each hazard identified, determine what measures or controls will be implemented to reduce anticipated risks. Seek first to eliminate exposure to that hazard. If that can't be accomplished, seek to reduce exposure. Certainly, the company's safe work practices and procedures should provide answers. Experienced supervisors and drivers should be able to recommend effective solutions. If those resources can't provide satisfactory controls or sufficiently minimize exposure, think in terms of the following questions.

    • How do we ensure the driver is prepared for the trip? What can the driver do to minimize exposure to expected hazards?
    • Can we reduce risks by changing the route, timing or other aspect of the journey?
    • Is this the right vehicle for this trip? Does it have appropriate safety features? Has it been properly inspected and maintained?

    Tip: Traction control systems, anti-lock brakes and other safety features aimed at vehicle-related hazards perform reliably when called upon. However, vehicle-related hazards contribute to crashes far less frequently than do driver- and journey-related hazards. That's why control measures such as driver training, supervision and journey management typically have greater positive influences on reducing crashes and preventing injuries.

  • Step three - build the trip plan

    A documented trip plan is a key part of journey management. It has essential information to help busy managers keep track of employee whereabouts. Combined with a check-in system, it enables the employer to verify the location and continued well-being of employees, whether they are working alone, or not. That combination provides early warning if problems occur during a trip, enabling the employer to mobilize a prompt response or emergency assistance, as required.

    The act of building the trip plan should cause employees to anticipate and be mindful of hazards as they drive. Plus, a trip plan is a record that contributes to due diligence and compliance.

    1. Employees must prepare and submit a trip plan for all work-related trips, whether he or she is driving or is a passenger in a vehicle.
      or
    2. Employees must prepare and submit a trip plan for all work-related trips that involve driving more than 50 km, or have an anticipated duration of more than one hour.
      or
    3. Employees must prepare and submit a trip plan for all work-related trips that score more than (insert your threshold value) using our Journey Risk Ranking Matrix.

    Tip: Legal requirements, over-riding company policies, scheduling "musts" and "no go" criteria may influence or preclude some driving trips. Make those restrictions clear so employees don't plan trips that won't be approved.

    To fulfill its purpose, an effective trip plan includes:

    1. The name of the driver and passengers (if any)
    2. Information to identify the vehicle. Include the vehicle make, model, colour, year and licence number so that if the employee goes "missing" during their trip and you need to involve assistance to locate them, the searchers know what vehicle they are looking for.
    3. The travel route(s)
      1. Identify potential routes - there is usually more than one way to get to a destination, but the most direct route is not necessarily the safest.
      2. For each route, identify hazards and compare risks. Think about traffic volume, road conditions, construction delays, high crash frequency intersections, etc.
      3. Choose the preferred route. Typically, that's the route that avoids the most hazards and has the lowest overall risk. Identify an alternate route you will use if you encounter delays or difficulties along the preferred route.
      4. Write down the names of the roads you plan to use; include the alternate route.
    4. The address(es) of planned destination(s): Include planned stops along the way, and your final destination for the day.
    5. Driver and destination contact information: Write down the number for the cell phone (or other device) you will carry during the trip, and the names and numbers for people you plan to meet during the trip.
    6. A check-in system.

For consistency, use a standard process or form to document trip plans. There are trip plan templates embedded in TripCheck. You can also download the documents here.

Download Basic Trip Plan form (PDF)

Download Risk-Rated Trip Plan form (fillable PDF)

Note: Use Adobe Reader when using this tool

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