Article

Safety policy for motor vehicle operators

The governing policies of a company should address safe operations, including operation of its motor vehicles. This report provides suggested areas a safety policy should address to help manage the safe operation of motor vehicles.

Introduction

Safety is just one of the important aspects in the overall management of an organization, but it nonetheless often plays a significant role in the success or failure of a business. For businesses that operate motor vehicles, irrespective of the size of the vehicle operation, it is essential for management to make their employees aware that safe operations are of paramount importance when operating motor vehicles on company business. This directive commonly takes the form of a safety policy. This report provides suggested areas a safety policy might include to address the safe operation of motor vehicles.

Safety policy

A safety policy should include the operation of motor vehicles, as applicable, and should serve as a guide for actions by both management and employees. The policy addressing motor vehicle operations may be a stand-alone document or part of a company's overall safety program. The policy should be reviewed with all appropriate employees and should be signed by the owner/president of the company. All personnel involved in vehicle operations must clearly understand the policy and be held accountable for deviations in safe practices.

There should be a form that is signed and dated by the employee to establish that the information in the safety policy was presented to the employee. The sign-off form should be placed in the employee's personnel file in the event disciplinary action is required in the future.

The wording of the safety policy should reflect the severity of the risk. A simple, minimum safety policy might be stated as follows:

XYZ Safety Policy for Motor Vehicle Operations

The efficiency of any business can be measured directly by its ability to control losses. Accidents resulting in personal injury and damage to property and equipment represent needless suffering and waste. To reduce the risk of vehicle-related losses, our company's policy regarding the operation of motor vehicles is as follows:

  • The safety of the employee, the public, and the operation is critical and every attempt must be made to reduce the possibility of accidents
  • Safety shall take precedence over expediency, or short cuts, at all times
  • Our company intends to comply with all applicable safety laws and regulations

It is the responsibility of every employee to maintain the safest conditions and equipment at all times. Each employee will be expected to demonstrate an attitude that reflects this policy and promotes safe work habits.

Violation of the policies outlined in this document may lead to disciplinary actions up to and including termination of employment.

Additional areas of concern

To provide more guidance to the driver and associated staff, the safety policy should specifically address subjects as reflected by a business's needs. For example:

  • Driving — Employees must comply with the business's vehicle safety program, as well as obey all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
  • Seat belts — The driver and all passengers in a company-operated vehicle must be secured in a restraint device (e.g., seatbelt) whenever a vehicle is in motion.
  • Communications — The use of cellular phones and other communication devices should be prohibited when the vehicle is not legally parked, except to communicate with escort vehicles or in an emergency.
  • Driver distraction — Drivers should take steps to minimize distractions while driving. While some distractions are not preventable (e.g., sudden noise from another vehicle backfiring), another vehicle having a problem (e.g., flat tire), other distractions can be avoided (e.g., reading paperwork, entering information in a GPS, and a host of other man-made distractions).
  • Substance abuse — The consumption of alcohol should be prohibited for drivers anytime during working hours and for four hours prior to driving. The policy should also prohibit the use of controlled substances.

As management sets the example for the employees, it is imperative that they adhere to the safety policy at all times.

References

  1. American National Standard Institute (ANSI). Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations. ANSI/ASSE Z15.1. Des Plaines, IL: American Society of Safety Engineers, 2012.
  2. Engineering and Safety Service. A Safety Program for Motor Vehicle Operators. CV-10-01. Jersey City, NJ: ISO Services, Inc., 2007.
  3. Driver Distraction. CV-25-05. Jersey City, NJ: ISO Services, Inc., 2002.

Copyright ©2013, ISO Services Properties, Inc.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries ("The Hanover") specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC FEB 2019 2015-109
171-1169 (4/15)