What Manufacturers Need to Know About Loss Control, Pt. 3

Nina ConnerManufacturing

Q&A with Ryan Overly, Risk Control Consultant with Murray, an AssuredPartners company

By Jenn DeWalt, Business Development Specialist, Murray

This is the third part of a series on safety considerations for manufacturing companies:

The first part of the series covered specific loss control considerations manufacturing companies need to consider regarding workers’ compensation and keeping their employees safe.

The second part of the series covered information on the top causes of loss in the manufacturing industry.

Almost $1.2 billion is paid out every week in our country for workers’ compensation claims.  Manufacturers in particular may be experiencing what often seem like small incidents, but those small claims are certainly adding up.

Ryland Overly, GSP, Risk Control Consultant from Murray’s Risk Management team, offers information that can help those businesses in the manufacturing industry develop a better safety culture.

Q: The leading cause of occupational deaths is vehicle collisions.  What can manufacturers do to help keep their drivers safe?

A: Having a robust fleet safety program is one of the best ways a manufacturer can protect itself and minimize the risk of vehicle accidents to its employees. Fleet safety programs will vary from employer to employer based on the fleet size, types of vehicles, the capacity of their operations, the distance they travel, etc.  Just because the programs will vary doesn’t mean they don’t share key elements.

Q: What is important to include in a fleet safety program?

A: The first and probably most important element is buy-in. This means the entire company – from the owner(s) to all the drivers, to the fleet mechanics. Everyone needs to be on board, or the program will fall short.

The next element is to select reliable and safe drivers for your organization. This can be accomplished by reviewing the prospective driver’s employment history, motor vehicle record, etc., then comparing the findings to the company’s standard for a driver to see if the prospective employees will measure up.

If they have passed the screening process, drivers should be subjected to pre-employment road testing, a drug test, and physical ability screening.  While a driver may look good on paper, they may not be able to properly handle your vehicle.  Hiring drivers to operate equipment they are uncomfortable with is a liability to your company and a hazard to their safety.

Q: What needs to be done after drivers are selected:

A: After they have completed the screening process, training on the proper policies and procedures is imperative. It’s a good idea to give them refresher training on defensive driving and safe driving practices because it might have been a while since they had any type of driver safety training. This will also help to ensure that a driver is doing things they way they are expected to be done.  There are training programs in place such as The Smith System and the NSC Defensive Driving System that can be used to have clear policies and procedures in place.

Q: The drivers are ready to hit the road. What else is needed?

A: Once the drivers are on the road, you want to ensure they are utilizing what has been taught to them and upholding the company’s standards. Remember, these folks are essentially driving mobile billboards, and their actions can impact a company’s image and reputation. Hold them accountable by riding along!

The best way to accomplish this is to have some form of telematics and dashcam like Samsara, Nauto, or Lytx equipped in each one of your vehicles. These types of controls may seem off-putting at first, but they can benefit the overall safety of a fleet. In fact, it is unlikely that you will find any large fleet without telematics and dashcam systems in their vehicles. They give the ability to get a passenger-seat view of triggered events such as tailgating, speeding, hard turns or brakes, and even collisions. Footage can be used to identify negative trends in drivers’ behaviors, then that information can be used to help coach and train all the drivers.

For more information or to be connected to our dedicated Manufacturing experts and extensive Risk Management team, contact our Business Development Specialist here at Murray, an AssuredPartners company, or call (717) 397-9600.

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