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The primary output is the “plan” itself – a well-organized, comprehensive description of the processes and actions the company will implement to meet its road safety objectives. This guide describes an ordered framework, identifies helpful resources and provides examples you can use to accomplish that.

  1. Organization Overview

    First, there are a few administrative details to cover. Use the table below (or adjust as suits you) to provide information about the company – how it is organized, key people, contacts, the nature of the business, locations, number of employees and work vehicles, etc.

    Example table

  2. Health and Safety Policy

    The health and safety policy should clarify leadership’s commitment to safety, explain the company’s health and safety objectives, and identify the responsibilities of people in various positions or roles. Below are two example policies you can adapt to suit your company. Note that if your organization already has a safety program, it may already include a sufficient policy statement.

    Example #1

    { insert company name } and its leadership team are committed to establishing and maintaining workplaces - including vehicles used for work - that meet regulatory requirements. To achieve this, our company will establish, maintain and continually improve a health and safety program designed to prevent injuries and diseases that may arise from driving and collisions.

    { insert company name } takes seriously its responsibilities to ensure the safety of our employees when they are driving for work. We will provide our employees with the training and instruction necessary to ensure they are qualified and motivated to safely complete the work-related driving they are assigned. We will ensure that we have policies, procedures and practices in place to accomplish those goals.

    We will provide its supervisors with the training necessary to enable them to fulfill their responsibilities to direct and control workplace activity, orient new workers, provide training, complete inspections and investigations, and report and correct unsafe acts and conditions in the workplace.

    We will support our employees so that they know and follow established safe work procedures, correct hazards or report them, participate in inspections, use personal protective equipment and report near misses and incidents that result in injuries or property damage. We will also encourage and facilitate their participation in this safety program.

    Name:
    Title:
    Signature:
    Date:

    Example #2

    { insert company name } Occupational Driving Health and Safety Policy

    { insert company name } is committed to safeguarding the well-being of our employees while they are at work, including when they are driving for work purposes. The company will establish and implement policies and procedures aimed at ensuring the company meets its legal obligations. Similarly, we will support our employees, supervisors and managers so they can understand and fulfill their respective safety responsibilities.

    { insert company name } will:

    1. Establish occupational safety policies and safe work procedures that, at a minimum, meet occupational health and safety requirements.
    2. Communicate those policies and procedures to employees so they understand them and are able to apply them to their work.
    3. Explain to employees their workplace rights and responsibilities.
    4. Ensure our employees receive the orientation and training they need to complete their work safely.
    5. Engage competent supervisors who are trained and accountable to fulfill their duties to direct workplace activity, orient new workers, provide instruction, complete inspections and investigations, and report and correct unsafe acts and conditions.
    6. Make our employees and contractors aware of known and reasonably foreseeable hazards, and take all reasonable precautions to protect them from those hazards.
    7. Provide appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and require employees to use it.
    8. Provide employees with access to our safety program as well as relevant health and safety information, including legislation.
    9. Investigate motor vehicle incidents and significant near misses, and implement corrective actions.

    Regularly meet with employees to review the safety program, discuss safety performance and collaborate on ways to improve the program and our results.

  3. Safety Responsibilities

    Provide statements describing responsibilities of people who hold key roles in the organization.

    • General responsibilities of senior management, including owners and directors
    • General responsibilities of front-line managers and supervisors
    • General rights and responsibilities of workers
    • Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee members

    Parts 115 to 124 of the Workers Compensation Act identify the legal duties associated with the above roles. However, your description should also address:

    • Who owns or is responsible for the plan (identify a role such as Operations Manager, Director of Health and Safety or Company President rather than the name of a specific person)
    • The duties and functions of the JOHSC and how employees will be encouraged to participate in the committee and investigations (see Parts 125 to 140 of Workers Compensation Act)
    • Who is responsible to communicate the program and its components to employees
    • Who is responsible to conduct specific elements (e.g. risk assessments, draft policies and procedures, coordinate training, inspections, etc)
    • How often the safety plan will be reviewed; how employees, supervisors and JOHSC members will participate in that review
  4. Identify Hazards and Assess Risks

    Understanding the driving-related hazards your employees encounter and determining how much risk each of those hazards pose enables the organization to set priorities for action. Think about the work-related driving employees do. Who is driving? What vehicles do they drive (personal or fleet)? What sort of driving do they do (deliveries, passenger transport, client visits, etc.)? In what conditions does it occur (winter, resource roads, busy city streets, etc.)? The risk ranking you assign to each hazard should determine how much effort the company invests to design and apply controls (policies, procedures, practices) aimed at eliminating or controlling exposure to that hazard.

    There are several tools and resources to help you.

    The Hazard ID and Risk Assessment web section explains two risk assessment processes you can use to identify and categorize the hazards your drivers encounter, and systematically evaluate associated risks and establish priorities to control those risks.

    Risk Assessment is an all-in-one online tool used to identify, evaluate and prioritize the driving-related hazards your employees encounter. It suggests controls you can implement to address priority hazards and points you to resources to help you build them. Login and get started.

    The Road Safety Risk Profile online tool is a quick way to evaluate risk factors associated with employees (or potential employees), the journeys they make and the vehicles they use. Resulting scores identify key areas of exposure; feedback points you to tools and resources you can use to address those exposures.

    Take the Hazard ID and Risk Assessment online course. It will build your abilities to identify driving-related hazards in your workplace, and to assess risks associated with those hazards. The course explains what to do with assessment results and how to prioritize risks for action.

    Once you are familiar with risk assessment concepts and how to apply them, you are ready to explain your process in your road safety plan. Your plan should:

    1. Identify the process you will use to identify hazards and assess risk (e.g., use the Road Safety At Work Risk Assessment online tool)
    2. Identify who or what group will conduct risk assessments (e.g., the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee, or the Company Owner and the Worker Representative, etc.)
    3. Identify how often risk assessments will be completed. We recommend reviewing risks at least annually and after a crash occurs (to make sure your previous assessment hasn’t under-estimated risks). Because work circumstances, routes, people and vehicles can change frequently, it’s a good idea to have the safety committee think about new or emerging risks at their monthly meetings.
    4. Include a copy of the current risk assessment output. If you are using the Risk Assessment online tool, print out a copy of the Risk Assessment Action Plan Summary and put it in your safety plan binder.
  5. Establish Metrics and Set Targets

    Completing the risk assessment process provides a clearer picture of the risks your plan needs to minimize. To learn more about setting reasonable goals and measuring progress, see our Establish Metrics and Set Targets web section. Use a table format (click here for example) to record targets and track results.

  6. Build Effective Control Measures

    The next step is to write down the measures that will be implemented to minimize exposure to identified hazards. An effective road safety plan has policies that guide the decisions and actions of drivers, supervisors and managers (e.g. vehicle selection, orientation, distracted driving). Safe work procedures describe more specific steps or practices (e.g. vehicle inspection, driver assessment, trip planning). Some organizations use rules, standards or guidelines (e.g. safe driving rules, driver training standard, hiring guideline). Together, these are the controls that the company and its employees will apply to minimize exposure to driving-related hazards.

    Each of the following sections identifies a topic or component that a comprehensive road safety plan must address. There are questions and decision criteria that you should consider as you develop control measures. Links connect you to helpful tools and resources, and in some cases provide examples you can copy and adjust to suit your needs. Remember, as you build your controls, the objective is to clearly explain what people in your company will do to prevent work-related crashes and associated injuries.

    Drafting Policies and Procedures

    Policies and procedures play an integral role in your plan. To sharpen your policy and procedure writing skills check out the Building Strong Road Safety Policies and the Safe Work Procedures web sections, and by completing the Building Effective Policies and Procedures online course.Take a few minutes to become familiar with the Hierarchy of Controls. This framework will help you identify the range of tools or methods that are available to eliminate or minimize exposure to driving-related hazards, and which ones are most likely to be effective in accomplishing your goals. Learn more in the Controlling Hazards section of our website, or complete the Controlling Exposure to Driving-Related Hazards online course.

    Confirm Driver Qualifications

    Each employer is required to ensure that their employees are qualified to operate the vehicles they use for work. Your safety plan should have policy and procedures describing the standards and processes the organization will use to confirm its employees have the necessary skills, behaviours and certifications for the driving you assign them.

    If employees drive a variety of vehicles in a range of circumstances, they may need a variety of qualifications (e.g. class of driver’s licence, specific endorsements, driver training, etc.). The policies and procedures you develop should address the following questions.

    • Does the employee have a valid licence? Is it the appropriate class? Do they need additional endorsements?
    • Will they tow trailers or haul loads that require special certification?
    • Do they need to complete training so they have the skills to deal with the winter driving they encounter?
    • Do some driving roles require a minimum amount of experience? Does that vary with the type of vehicle they use and the driving conditions they will encounter?

    Checking driver abstracts is a basic way to see whether an employee is legally authorized to drive (i.e. has a suitable and valid licence). Abstracts also show penalty points the driver has been assessed and the associated violations. The plan should explain:

    • How often employees will be required to provide a current driver’s abstract – pre-hire, every three years, annually or quarterly
    • Who will review abstracts
    • Penalty point thresholds – what steps the company will take when an abstract shows a driver has received penalty points, how many points is “too many”, etc.
    • That employees are required to tell their employer when the employee’s licence is suspended or if they have a medical condition that could affect their ability to operate a motor vehicle

    For more on checking driver records, go to the Driver Qualifications pages.

    Most employers recognize that simply having a valid driver’s licence isn’t sufficient evidence that an individual has all of the right driving skills and behaviours. Another way to evaluate competency is to observe their skills and behaviours during ride-alongs with supervisors or third-party instructors. Your policy should explain:

    • The process that will be used to evaluate each driver’s skills and behaviours to determine if they are appropriate for the driving they will do at your workplace
    • How often that will occur (e.g., at time of hire, every two or three years)
    • What will be done to address any skill gaps those evaluations identify

    For more on practices that belong in your road safety plan, review the Confirm Driver Competence web pages. The Driver Assessment Tool is a hands-on driver evaluation tool available for your use.

    Provide Necessary Training

    It’s rare that an employee arrives at a workplace knowing everything they need to know to do the new job correctly, and as the employer expects - that includes driving. Employers have a duty to provide the orientation and training their employees need to safely complete driving assignments. Unless it’s addressed elsewhere in the company’s procedures (e.g. in the human resources hiring or on-boarding process), your road safety plan is a great place to describe how employees will get the orientation and training they need. To build that procedure, consider the following questions.

    • What general driving skills do all employees need? Which vehicles, routes or circumstances require specialized skills?
    • What education, training and instructional resources are available to provide and build those skills?
    • What methods are most effective in developing requisite abilities? What methods will you use to verify competency (e.g. “show me” evaluation, written test, oral quiz)?
    • How often will education be reinforced and updated?

    It is important to ensure that education and training fit your employees and our workplace. It needs to be targeted, timely and useful to the employee. Click here to access resources and ideas you can use for your driving workplace.

    Conduct Thorough Orientations

    Receiving a thorough orientation of their workplace is a critical factor in the success of every new hire. Even when you hire a driver who seems to have a wealth of driving experience, they won’t be familiar with the unique characteristics of your workplace. Make sure your road safety plan includes a method of ensuring employees are properly informed about the vehicles, policies, processes and people in their new workplace.

    For an example orientation procedure, go to the Example Safe Work Procedures.

    Young or New Workers

    Your road safety program should be designed to apply to all employees who drive in the course of their work, but it should give special consideration to young or new workers.

    Young workers usually don’t have the driving or life experience that older, seasoned drivers have. And, young workers are often at greater risk of injury because of inadequate training, orientation or supervision, because of inexperience or because of a lack of awareness of workplace rights and responsibilities, and a reluctance to ask questions. Your safety plan should address these questions.

    • What process will the company use to evaluate driving skills, and identify training needs?
    • What extra training and orientation is necessary to prepare these workers for the driving they will do? Can the organization augment training by mentoring new hires?
    • What additional supervisory controls will be put in place? Will supervisors do more ride-alongs or coaching sessions during the first three to six months of each young or new workers employment?
    • Are there certain driving assignments (e.g., routes, vehicles, schedules, duration, etc.) supervisors cannot assign a new or young driver until they have demonstrated necessary skills?
    • In some organizations, drivers are asked to operate out of multiple work hubs, travel between regions and work at different sites. If driving rules and protocols vary from location to location, what measures are in place to ensure drivers are oriented to local procedures?
    • Any vehicle or vehicle type that an employee has not previously operated is a new For example, even though your employee has shown their abilities to operate a 2014 one-ton van, they don’t necessarily have the skills to operate the 2019 three-ton delivery truck. Does your safety plan include measures to orient workers to new vehicles, routes and locations?

    General Driving Rules

    The driving employees do is governed by legal requirements – the Motor Vehicle Act and Regulations, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and others. Although you expect employees to know and apply those rules, there is significant value in the company simply stating it expects employees will obey those laws when driving for work. The company may also have specific driving practices it expects employees to apply. Clarify expectations in a set of straight-forward one or two-sentence driving rules. Key topics to address include:

    • seatbelt use
    • observing and obeying posted speed limits
    • compliance with Electronic Communication Devices laws and the company’s Distracted Driving Policy
    • prohibition against operating a vehicle when impaired by fatigue, alcohol or prescription/non-prescription/illicit drugs
    • expectations of the conduct and activities of passengers if allowed (e.g. no horseplay)
    • whether employees are permitted to carry pets in work vehicles
    • cargo securement
    • ergonomics – adjusting mirrors, seat and headrest before driving, taking breaks during long trips, organizing and stowing items in the cab, etc.
    • rules for operating a motor vehicle on a work site or in restricted zones
    • self-assessment to confirm fitness to drive before operating a vehicle
    • not smoking in work vehicles
    • transportation of flammable, volatile or otherwise hazardous materials goods

    For an example, see Safe Driving Rules.

    Distracted Driving

    Driving while distracted is a leading cause of crashes, injuries and fatalities. Talking or texting on a phone while driving is the biggest part of the problem. Too many drivers – owners, managers, supervisors and employees of every sort – engage in cell phone conversations, fiddle with the navigation system or eat, drink or smoke when they should be giving their full attention to their driving responsibilities.

    Your road safety plan should include clear policies and procedures explaining how employees will avoid driving while distracted. Learn more on our Distracted Driving web page. Also see our example distracted driving policies.

    Fatigue Management

    Fatigue is a leading contributor to crashes. Acute and accumulated driver fatigue present significant hazards in many workplaces especially those with night or early shift driving, long-duration driving, or long work days with site to site driving or long drives at either end of the shift.

    Your road safety plan should describe the steps the organization and its employees will take to recognize, address and combat fatigue. To help develop your policies and procedures, visit our Fatigue Management section.

    Impairment

    While fatigue is an increasingly common factor that affects a worker's ability to safely perform assigned driving, employers need to also be prepared with policies to also deal with impairment by alcohol and drugs, including prescription drugs and illicit drugs such as cannabis.

    As a starting point, employers should develop and communicate policies stating:

    • The company’s definition of impairment (which must meet or exceed legal definitions)
    • That employees may not drive while impaired, and that the company will not assign nor permit employees to drive while impaired
    • That any worker with a physical or mental impairment which may affect their ability to drive safely must inform his or her supervisor or employer of the impairment, and must not drive if the impairment may create an undue risk to the worker or anyone else.
    • That a person must not enter or remain at any workplace while their ability to work is affected by alcohol, a drug or other substance so as to endanger the person or anyone else, and that the employer will not permit a person to remain at any workplace while the person's ability to work is affected by alcohol, a drug or other substance so as to endanger the person or anyone else.

    Learn more at Canadian Centre for Occupational Safety.

    Journey Management

    Driving is one of the riskiest activities your employees will undertake. A journey management process will help your organization find ways to avoid exposure to driving-related hazards, and identify the steps for managing risks when driving is necessary.

    Journey management policies, procedures and practices are crucial elements of any successful road safety plan. To get started, visit our Journey Management web pages. Pay particular attention to Trip Planning and Check-In Systems employees can use whether driving (working) alone or with others. Go to the Resources page and take advantage of the example forms – modify them so they fit your organization’s needs. Have a look at the example journey management policy. While looking around I noticed the link on the Building Strong Policies web page takes users to a document called “RSAW-Example-Journey-Management-Policy-Apr-6-2017” that does not have a disclaimer at end. Please update that link. > Login and complete the Building An Effective Journey Management Process online course.

    Have employees use TripCheck – a mobile-friendly online tool that employees can use to address key trip planning criteria, as well document and communicate their trip plans and check-in procedures.

    Vehicle Selection

    Whether they are company-owned or employee-owned, make sure vehicles used for work are fit for the purposes they are used. Work vehicles need to be of a suitable type and configuration and have the right equipment so they are capable of performing intended tasks. For guidance on making the right vehicle choices, see Buying a Safer Vehicle. See also Appendix One of Employee Use of Own Vehicle for Work example policy.

    There is an increasing array of vehicle technologies and features that can improve the safety of work vehicles. To learn more about what those features do, and which ones make sense for your operations, go to Emerging Vehicle Technologies.

    Vehicle Inspections

    Employers are legally required to see that vehicles used for work are inspected before the start of the shift, and as necessary during the day to ensure the safe operating condition of the equipment. Regular, thorough inspections identify defects before they can contribute to a crash.

    Your safety plan should include a procedure describing:

    • How often work vehicles will be inspected
    • Who will conduct inspections
    • The steps involved in inspections, and the items to be inspected
    • The process or form that will be used to record inspections
    • The process that will be used to report mechanical concerns or defects requiring repair to the supervisor or employer
    • What conditions or defects will preclude a vehicle being used for work

    Go to our Vehicle Inspections web section to access a variety of forms available for your use, as well as tips on how to conduct effective vehicle inspections.

    Vehicle Maintenance

    Workplaces demand a lot from vehicles. Regular maintenance helps those vehicles perform reliably and ensure that defects don’t contribute to downtime – or a costlier crash. To make sure employees are clear on how the organization expects vehicles to be maintained, write down the process in a vehicle maintenance policy.

    AutoCheck provides an example maintenance schedule. Quite often, the vehicle’s Owner’s Manual will describe recommended maintenance intervals.

    Employee-Owned Vehicles Used For Work

    An employer’s duties to ensure employee safety while driving for work apply equally whether that employee is driving a company-owned or employee-owned vehicle.

    In practical terms, your road safety plan should be constructed so that its policies, procedures and practices can be efficiently applied to both fleet and grey fleet vehicles. Early in the document, state that the plan applies to both vehicle types, and their drivers. If there are special requirements, exclusions or exceptions that apply to grey fleet vehicles, state them in the specific policy or procedure.

    To make sure that employee-owned vehicles used for work are fit for purpose and measure up to company requirements, explain those requirements in a policy. For an example policy, see Employee Use of Own Vehicle for Work.

    Insuring Employee-Owned Vehicles Used For Work

    The safety plan is also a good place to state the types (e.g. liability, collision, comprehensive, cargo, etc.) and amounts of insurance coverage that grey fleet vehicle owners must have in place before they can use their vehicle for work. Those requirements may, or may not, match the amounts the company applies to company-owned vehicles.

    To help protect all parties, state that employees must insure their vehicle according to the correct rate class, and that employees provide the employer with a copy of valid insurance before using that vehicle for work. See also Appendix One of Employee Use of Own Vehicle for Work.

    Be aware that if work vehicles (company-owned or employee-owned) are used to transport three or more passengers, Part 17 of the Regulation specifies additional operational requirements. Consider increasing liability insurance coverage for those vehicles.

    Rental Vehicles

    Safety obligations also apply to rental vehicles (including hourly rentals) used for work. If your organization will be using rental vehicles for work, provide guidance on how those vehicles will be selected, inspected and used. Your procedures should address such as:

    • What approvals or authorizations are required before a vehicle is rented / used for work?
    • How will the company ensure rental vehicles are configured for intended use and equipped for road and weather conditions (e.g. has emergency kit and winter tires)? Can a preferred vendor reliably meet your needs?
    • Will the driver inspect the rental vehicle before using it? How will they deal with deficiencies?

    Vehicle Emergency Kits

    A properly stocked and maintained vehicle emergency kit is great way to ensure each driver is prepared to deal with roadside emergencies. What belongs in those kits depends on the driving circumstances and conditions that driver is likely to encounter.  Each work vehicle should carry a basic emergency kit, and add items to handle winter driving or travel in remote locations. Use the lists at Vehicle Emergency Kits.

    Supervision

    Supervising mobile employees requires a little more ingenuity than supervising location-based employees. It’s difficult to observe a worker when their mobile workplace is many kilometres from the supervisor’s office. Nonetheless, employers have duties to provide necessary supervision.

    Your plan should explain the steps that supervisors will take to meet obligations. Questions such procedures should address include:

    • How will supervisors make employees aware of known and foreseeable driving-related hazards?
    • How will supervisors satisfy their duty to ensure the safety of drivers under their supervision?
    • Will supervisors conduct regular ride-alongs to observe and evaluate driver skills and behaviours?
    • How often will such “inspections” occur? What items will supervisors observe and evaluate?
    • What documentation is necessary? What feedback is provided to each employee?

    Learn more at Provide Necessary Supervision.

    Contractor Management

    If your organization hires contractors or sub-contractors, the safety plan needs to explain how the company will interact with those contractors to meet accountabilities (e.g. pre-hire contractor evaluation, periodic inspections). If contractor employees work with your employees or another employer’s workers, establish processes to ensure work proceeds in a safe and coordinated manner (e.g. establish prime contractor). Include a contractor management process that explains those practices and processes.

    Report and Investigate Motor Vehicle Incidents

    As unwelcome as they are, motor vehicle incidents are opportunities to learn about the gaps in your system that enabled or allowed the incident to occur. To take advantage of such opportunities, the organization needs to be prepared with:

    Disciplinary Process

    Although a road safety plan is developed and presented as a tool for success, every organization could encounter circumstances in which an employee fails to comply with legal or company requirements. It may be necessary to implement disciplinary measures to secure correct behaviours. All parties – employers, supervisors and drivers – benefit when the organization thinks about what those measures will be, and writes them down in a policy or procedure well before such situations arise.

    In terms of road safety, your process or policy should contemplate the following questions.

    • What range of measures may be implemented – coaching discussions, training and re-training, temporary suspension or restriction of driving assignments, letters to employee files, termination?
    • What actions will be taken if an employee incurs moving violations and/or accumulates too many driving penalty points? How many is too many?
    • What action will be taken if an employee is involved in repeated at-fault crashes?
    • What steps will the company take in response to serious driving infractions (e.g. that result in the company vehicle being impounded or that cause substantial property damage or injury)?
    • If the company determines that because of repeated driving non-compliance, it is necessary to assign an employee to duties that do not include driving, what steps will the employee and company undertake before those privileges and work are returned?
  7. Putting It All Together

    Now that the team has invested considerable effort in a plan, the next step is to assemble the product. If your organization already has a safety plan, your work should focus on integrating the road safety elements you’ve created into that existing plan. Build the policies and procedures in the format that managers and employees are already accustomed to seeing. Use similar document layout, headings and fonts so that road safety easily becomes part of the existing plan. Quite literally, this may mean inserting the pages you create into the current safety binders. Or, you might “copy and paste” the entire road safety section into the electronic version of your safety plan, and update the table of contents. If your organization does not already have a safety plan or for some reason you want to create a stand-alone road safety document, there are several ways you might choose to arrange and structure it.

    1. Use the headings and organization used for this guide (see Table of Contents above).
    2. Look at the Table of Contents on the Canadian Centre for Occupational Safety website.
    3. Google "safety plan table of contents" or "safety program structure".
    4. Download How to Implement a Formal Occupational Health and Safety Program.
  8. Taking Action

    Your plan becomes even more valuable when it is put to work. In order for those well conceived policies and procedures to help prevent workplace crashes and injuries, employees need to know what those actions are, and what they are expected to do. Managers, supervisors and employees who have been assigned responsibilities need to understand their responsibilities, and how they are expected to deliver on them. Action is essential, and communication is key!

    For more resources to help you implement your road safety plan, see our 3-Step Process. In particular, check out the links below.

    Communicate
    Provide Necessary Supervision
    Conduct Regular Reviews
    Analyze and Evaluate Outcomes
    Make Improvements

Download Road Safety Plan Template (MS Word 76 KB)




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