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Safety: Vehicle Safety

Loss Control Resource available Online

Work-related motor vehicle accidents can happen in any industry – lumber and wood operations are by no means exempt. And while no “silver bullet” exists to lessen commercial mishaps, it is prudent for businesses to embrace a safety culture to better the odds of reducing fleet incidents.

An online safety brochure entitled, “Business Auto Standard Checklist Best Practice,” is now available from the Loss Control experts at Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company (PLM/ILM). No doubt your daily operations could benefit from some or all of the following action items.

Defensive Driver Training
“Implement a defensive driver training program which is a key component in vehicle accident prevention. Consider using proven safe driving techniques like the Smith System or the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driver Training. Defensive driving strategies address the effects of drugs and alcohol on driving, the dangers of distracted driving, as well as how to handle fatigue and dangerous road conditions. Employers should be sure their drivers are educated on basic safe driving tenets, such as looking as far down the road as possible for potential obstructions and problems, maintaining an adequate following distance, and anticipating potential hazards.

Accident Review Committee
All driving related accidents should be reviewed by an accident review committee. The committee should be comprised of members of upper management, supervisors and employee drivers. The driver involved in an accident and their supervisor will discuss the details regarding their accident and ways to prevent the accident in the future. The committee should not be adversarial. The purpose is to learn from the loss and identify preventative measures moving forward.

Driver Observation Program
Driver observations should be routinely conducted by your supervisors and your management team. The driver’s driving habits can be observed by riding along with the driver, following the driver in another vehicle or reviewing dashboard camera videos (if applicable). Provide the drivers feedback and conduct additional training if necessary. Drivers with poor driving performance should be observed more frequently.

Accountability for supervisors and drivers
There should be a disciplinary procedure in place addressing driver accidents, moving violations and maintaining appropriate documentation to comply with the DOT standard. Supervisor’s and driver’s performance should be evaluated and included in their performance reviews.”

Bottom line: As Founding Father Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Visit for all of the details, and get your Fleet Safety Program started today.

PLM/ILM is a property and casualty insurance provider to the lumber, woodworking and building material industries. For further information, contact the Loss Control Services Department at 800.752.1895.