Australian businesses are being urged to sharpen their focus on workplace safety in the lead-up to National Safe Work Australia Month, which will be recognised throughout October.
Poor work health and safety costs $5,000 per worker each year and equates to 4.1 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product. This doesn’t compare to the immeasurable cost of grief and trauma to workers and their families. This is especially true for businesses across the road transport industry – there are 42 workers killed each year, 77 per cent of which are caused by vehicle incidents.
These alarming statistics point to the fact that driver safety programs need to be a top priority for fleet managers. Here are three ways fleet managers can help take advantage of near real-time data on driver behaviour to help drive safety risks out of their workplace at every given opportunity:
- Help improve driver behaviour
A report commissioned by Fleetmatics found that 61 per cent of Australian fleet owners cite that their staff are driving company vehicles carelessly or negligently. Not managing driver behaviour can take a major toll on a business’s fleet and should be something that is closely monitored.
With GPS fleet management technology, businesses can track how individual drivers are behaving on the road and are able to target relevant drivers to implement new safety targets. Driver A might need to reduce excessive speeding, while Driver B needs to reduce hard braking.
Such was the case for Aussiemove. The removal company was challenged with eliminating harsh driving across its fleet of trucks. After implementing GPS tracking technology, tangible driving KPI and healthy competition amongst employees, it has reduced wear and tear on vehicles and helped eliminate traffic infringements.
- Provide well-maintained vehicles
Failing to carry out timely maintenance may put your drivers at increased risk of incident. 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, Traffic Diversions Group uses GPS tracking technology to help ensure there is always a reliable vehicle on the road, by setting up alerts regarding routine maintenance. In addition to improving safety, this can help reduce the wear and tear of your vehicles.
- Keep track of driver location
Driving involves a level of risk. For a driver travelling on a long journey through unstable landscapes, or to a remote jobsite with no cellular coverage, the risks are amplified. According to research from the Royal Flying Doctor Service, more than half of road fatalities occur on rural and remote roads.
If a vehicle is fitted with comprehensive tracking equipment that includes a panic button feature, the driver can alert head office of their precise location in the event of an emergency. This puts help on the way almost instantly, and is likely to get the driver out of a dangerous situation, faster.
And with National Safe Work Australia Month upon us, now is the time to help ensure transport businesses are tracking their way to safer fleet behaviour. A sharpened focus on safe driving behaviour will not only help benefit the wellbeing of drivers, it will likely have a ripple effect towards improving the bottom line, by helping reduce the risk of incident and speeding fines.