Australian businesses are being urged to sharpen their focus on workplace safety in the lead-up to World Day for Health and Safety at Work, which will be recognised in Australia on the 28th of April. This is especially true for transport businesses. Driving a truck has been identified as one of the most dangerous occupations in Australia, with one out of every three workplace deaths last year involving a transport worker.
With risks this high, it’s clear that driver safety needs to be the number one priority for fleet managers. Of note, the theme for this year’s World Day for Health and Safety is optimising the collection of data to reduce work-related accidents.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at how fleet managers can take advantage of near real-time data on driver behaviour to create a workplace culture where safety and compliance are paramount:
- Improve driver behaviour
Keeping track of how your vehicles are being driven is only half the battle when it comes to having a safe work environment. The most critical step is encouraging drivers to maintain a high calibre of driving style at all times. With GPS fleet management technology, you can pull data on how individual drivers are behaving on the road. You’re able to target relevant drivers to implement new safety targets. Driver A might need to reduce speeding while Driver B needs to address harsh braking.
Such was the case for CBS Foodtech. The food service company was challenged by the need to eliminate harsh driving across its fleet of delivery vehicles. After implementing GPS tracking technology, fleet managers analysed data on driver behaviour and found that certain members of the team were driving a lot more erratically than others. Through targeting the relevant drivers with training, the business has significantly reduced poor driving behaviour.
- Reduce unauthorised vehicle use
One sure-fire way to help lower the risk of incident is to reduce the amount of time your vehicles spend on the road. While on-road is a necessity during business hours, how can you be completely sure that none of your vehicles are being used off-the-clock?
With vehicle tracking, you’re able to monitor when a vehicle is in use out of hours, as well as having the option to geofence certain areas – such as docks or locations out of the employee’s jurisdiction – to ensure your vehicles, and drivers, are where they should be at all times.
- Provide well-maintained vehicles
Failing to carry out timely maintenance will likely result in vehicle breakdowns, putting your drivers at increased risk of incident. The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 identifies a vehicle as a place of work, so you must ensure your fleet is fit for use at all times.
A vehicle tracking system uses data on time, engine use or mileage, to provide scheduling alerts. This helps you stay on top of preventative maintenance and reduce the risk of vehicle faults. For example, CBS Foodtech uses GPS tracking technology to effectively monitor and prioritise which vehicles need to be serviced, and ensure they always have enough vehicles available to go out on the road. On top of having a safe environment for drivers, the company is far less likely to lose a day of productivity from multiple vehicles being off the road for routine servicing.
And as World Day for Health and Safety fast approaches, now is the time to ensure your transport business is tracking its way to a safer fleet. A sharpened focus on driver safety will not only benefit wellbeing of your drivers, it’ll have knock on effects towards improving your bottom line by reducing the risk of incident, speeding fines and operating costs.
Todd Ewing is the director of product marketing at Fleetmatics.