What Does Fleet Driver Training Actually Do?

If you have vehicles on the road that are owned by your business, you’ll no doubt have heard a little something about fleet risk management.

You might know, for example, that fleet risk management is a legal obligation you have in relation to your duty of care to ensure that any and all staff making use of fleet vehicles are fully qualified and trained to do so safely and efficiently. You might even know that failure to do so will result in you being liable for any accidents yourself, as well as any legal ramifications which may arise from failure to comply.

All of that is relatively common knowledge, especially if you operate your own business, but what actually goes into fleet risk management is largely misunderstood. In this guide, we’re going to explain a key element: fleet driver training.

What is Fleet Driver Training?

Quite simply, fleet driver training is a little like going back to your driving lessons – albeit at a more advanced level. No, you won’t be forced to prove you can parallel park, but your staff will be introduced to a variety of new techniques which will ensure their safety and the security of your vehicles out on the road.

Examples of this include how to reduce the risk of tailgating, how to create space at busy roundabouts, how to maintain concentration on long journeys and more. Not only do these techniques reduce the risk of accidents on the road, but the advanced fuel management tips can help you reduce the ongoing fuel costs of your fleet.

What Types of Vehicles are Staff Trained On?

The fleet driver training that you get will be determined by the vehicles that your staff utilise. Far from limited to just cars and vans, fleet vehicle training is required for trucks, buses, coaches, 4x4s, scooters, mopeds, motorbikes and taxis. Do note, however, that some of these vehicles may require specialist training, like JAUPT-accredited Driver CPC courses for truck, bus and coach drivers to support their periodic training requirements.

How is Driver Training Delivered?

Lots of businesses have staff which spend much of their time on the road, making training hard to deliver. However, fleet driver training doesn’t have to be delivered on a hands-on basis. Many fleet driver training providers now have provision to teach online, as well as in person and in group sessions.

As such, there’s little excuse not to ensure you’re meeting your legal obligations.

Organizations Can Dramatically Reduce Workers Comp Costs by Helping Employees Become Fit for Work

Introduction

Data from the National Council on Compensation Insurance shows the high cost of allowing or even requiring employees to attempt work for which they are woefully unprepared, physically and mentally. Physically unprepared because their bodies are not trained for the performance requirements of jobs they’re asked to perform; mentally unprepared because don’t know that they are unprepared or, if they do, fail to train for the tasks demanded of them.

In America, workers comp costs are highest in California at $3.48 per $100 in payroll; Connecticut is next at $2.87, followed by New Jersey ($2.82), New York ($2.75) and Alaska $2.68). The state with the lowest costs is North Dakota — 88 cents. The medium figure – $1.85 per $100 of payroll.

Traditional Approaches

These costs are a major burden on business, a drag on productivity, profits, job satisfaction and quality of life of the work force – and that’s but a partial list of problems.

What are companies doing about workers compensation problems, besides bemoaning the fact that they pay so much for on-the-job injuries? Here is a list of thirteen steps companies take or are advised to take by consultants and other experts.

1. Return disabled employees to work as quickly as possible.

2. Report only regular wages, if possible, when employees work time-and-a-half.

3. Establish a joint committee of labor and management to identify and correct health or safety problems in the workplace.

4. Educate and train employees on safe use of equipment, safe working behavior and safety procedures.

5. Provide medical attention quickly if an employee is injured.

6. Determine if there is a pattern to such claims.

7. Instruct employees not to take risks.

8. Distribute safety instruction manuals to employees.

9. Hold managers and supervisors accountable for the safety record of their departments and crews.

10. Take care when hiring.

11. Offer better health insurance to reduce worker’s compensation premiums.

12. Classify employee job descriptions and titles correctly, as some classifications carry more risk, resulting in higher premiums.

13. Eliminate workplace hazards that have caused an employee to get sick or injured.

Another Strategy

Why not take responsibility to ensure that employees are fit for work? Most are not fit for work, in fact, very few are. It is rare to find literature that suggests employers ever implement “upstream” or prevention strategies; as in the above list of thirteen steps, almost all efforts are “downstream.” Downstream strategies are those focused on saving bodies in the water, not keeping workers out of danger in the first place, protected from the turbulent waters of weak bodies and unprepared minds.

There is another way that organizations can reduce medical spending, lower the incidence of accidents, improve productivity and better return-to-work outcomes. How? By engaging employees with REAL wellness programs that transcend chronic disease management offerings and that go beyond preaching about exercise, diet and stress management.

Companies can insist on fit workers, hire fit workers, train and support fit workers and reward the outcomes tied to fit workers.

The number one risk of accidents and injuries is not random bad fortune, malicious acts of God or hazardous worksite conditions, though the latter is an unforgivable problem that must also be addressed on a priority basis. The number one risk for high worker comp costs is that people are not fit for their jobs. Specifically, they are not trained to realize and maintain musculo-skeletal functioning that most 8 to 5 or other job schedules require.

Workers should be given extensive training in the nature of genuine, wellness-worthy musculo-skeletal fitness, how to achieve, maintain and build such fitness and how to understand risks to such fitness. Different kinds of jobs, of course, require different physical fitness levels, and these variances need to be understood and applied to specific work settings. Every work station should be assessed for levels of required musculo-skeletal fitness.

A thorough program might include musculo-skeletal screens and work station assessments depending upon the extent that jobs entail:

* manual handling.

* dealing with existing conditions.

* strength and flexibility.

* skeletal alignment.

* percent body fat and aerobic fitness.

Summary

Australian fitness and wellness expert John Miller describes a system for the prevention and treatment of what he calls “personally-generated body system dysfunctions.” His work has shown that a high proportion of employees with back pain have a fitness problem – their weak and tight muscles have allowed the bones of their pelvis and then their vertebrae to move out of alignment. To quote coach Miller, whom I have watched in action in Canberra, “only on the rarest of occasions is back pain caused by a lack of rubbing, crunching, heating, vibrating, strapping, doping or surgery.” Or, expressed in the coach’s inimitable Aussie talk, “It’s a big ask expecting to stay in good musculo-skeletal heath without keeping yourself fit. It’s also a big ask expecting to get better by having someone do something to you. Sooner or later you have to do something to yourself.”

Be well, look on the bright side and look after yourself.

Staff Name Badges – Way to Promote Your Company

Having staff name badges is a form of free advertising for your business especially if you are the new kid in the business block. Whenever people come into contact with your staff, they are able to instantly recognize from their staff badges your company logo; this instantly registers in their minds information about your business.

The second reason for having staff name badges is for the purpose of identification. A staff badge is able to show a limited amount of information about a person like their name, their position or job role in a company and maybe even their business or company identification number. This helps staff within an organization to know each other well especially in the case of a new staff member who has to be introduced to many people all at once. A staff badge can help a lot the staff member in getting well acquainted with his or her new work colleagues without the awkward phrase of “Could you please remind me your name again?” Staff badges can also help customers to identify whom to talk to or seek help from in a business premises. Like for instance in a hospital, a staff badge can help a patient know who is a nurse, who is a doctor, or who is just a hospital administrator like for example an accountant.

The third reason why name badges are important is because they help promote a sense of belonging amongst the company staff. Many people take pride in bragging to their friends and family about working for such and such company. For these people, working for their dream organizations and been able to show a staff badge with their names and job title on them is something they take pride in. Staff name badges basically make staff feel appreciated and recognized by the company or business owner. And as we all know, somebody who feels appreciated is often happier and a better worker.

The last reason why staff name badges are important is for safety and security measures. By workers having a staff badge that can help security personnel easily identify them, outsiders who pose a security risk to the business can be controlled from entering a premises. Those who enter the business from outside can in turn be given a visitor’s badge which can help staff identify that they are visitors indeed and not fellow workers. Staff name badges are very important and because of that every business or institution should have them.

Tips for Project Risk Management Success

The benefits of risk management are vast, yet for many projects this is an area still commonly overlooked. By applying simple and consistent risk management techniques we can easily minimise the impact of potential threats as well as leverage potential opportunities. This not only ensures meeting the agreed scope, cost and time but also improves the overall health and efficiency of the project operation, team members and wider stakeholders. This article comes back to the basics on the key rules of managing risk, to ensure your projects are consistently delivered with full success.

Tip #1 – Implement a solid identification process
Sounds simple right. However there are still many projects today that are managed with absolutely no formal risk identification incorporated. Then there are others that think they are using risk management appropriately but are not applying the correct techniques to identify risks. The identification process will depend on the project, the organisation and the company culture involved. So it is best to consider those areas when determining the most effective approach. This could be as simple as educating the team on what a risk actually is and asking them periodically to review the landscape for new risks. Or for large projects the PMO can be leveraged to ensure risk identification is included in the drumbeat.

Tip #2 – Be positive
Risk management includes identifying and managing both negative risks and positive ones, yet most projects typically seem to focus only on the negative ones. Ensure to add clear reminders and pointers within your risk management process to consider positive risks. A deliverable being delivered well before its due date can be a good thing, but also can have unforeseen impacts on other areas or leave the project operating inefficiently. On the other hand such a positive risk can actually help to balance out the impact of negative risks in other areas.

Tip #3 – Prioritise for efficiency
All risks are not equal and there is always limitations around how much resource can be applied to mitigate them. As such it is essential to classify risks in terms of ‘probability’ or how likely the risk is to occur and ‘impact’ level if the risk materialises into an issue. By doing so will allow the project manager and all team members to easily see which risks are priority to focus on. Use of a risk register template is a very effective means of doing so. Most organisations would have a standard template for this or if not there are many that can be found online.

Tip #4 – Apply correct ownership
It is often common for people within the project organisation to assume that the project manager owns all risks but this is completely false. Risks can affect wide areas of the wider stakeholder group and it is typical that resources with the relevant knowledge or skills in that area are much better placed to become the owner of the risk and to carry out the appropriate mitigation actions.

Tip #5 – Communicate and track to closure
With correct identification, classification and owner allocation in place we need to be careful as project managers that this is not considered to be the final step in the process of risk management. At this stage it is critical that the risks are correctly communicated. Firstly to the owner assigned to manage the mitigation actions and secondly to the wider stakeholder group affected so they are aware of the risk and potential impact to their respective areas. It is also then essential that the risks are regularly monitored and tracked through to closure regarding progress on mitigation actions and potentially changes to the impact / probability classifications as those actions come to fruition.

Summary
By following the above tips, project managers will be well placed to be in a position of control in relation to the management of risks for their projects and ultimately this will ensure a sound foundation for the successful delivery of their work