Proactive vs. Reactive Safety and Loss Control Program...

Which One Do You Have?

At the end of the year you should be evaluating your safety and loss control program to determine your performance over the year. Where do you stand compared to last year and the year before? Ongoing analysis programs are vital to a proactive and productive safety and loss control program. It always amazes me that companies cannot tell me what their accident frequency rate is and how it compares to years past. 

Accident frequency should be determined throughout the year no less than quarterly to determine trends and be proactive in controlling losses. Accident frequency rates can be calculated by multiplying the total number of accidents for a period by one million and then dividing by the total number miles for the same period. Accident frequency rate can be determined for DOT recordable, preventable recordable, non-preventable, by region, by fleet, driver supervisor etc. However, accident frequency rates are just one piece of the overall safety analysis program that is in place to provide you with a sense of direction of where your program is going. 

Other areas of your internal analysis program should include, driver turnover frequency, DOT violation analysis (Hours of Service, Drug and Alcohol, driver file), OSHA violations, on board safety technologies, workers compensation injuries, etc.  Another analysis tool that you should review monthly is your CSA SMS data provided to you by the FMCSA

A sound Proactive Safety and Loss Control program will adequately address the following areas: 

  • Driver Selection
  • Driver recruiting
  • Carrier-based training
  • Management-driver communications
  • Driver safety-performance evaluation
  • Safety incentives
  • Behavior-based safety
  • On-board safety monitoring
  • Event-data recorder
  • Accident investigation
  • Improved driver scheduling and dispatching
  • Fatigue management
  • Carrier-based medical programs
  • Advanced safety technologies
  • Industry-based safety standards and certification
  • Preventive maintenance and vehicle inspection

Don’t Crowd the Plow

Much of the Midwest this week will experience another significant snowstorm.  During winter storms, snowplows work around the clock to make roads passable. These large vehicles can present a hazard for drivers who follow too closely. Observe these tips to stay safe while giving snowplow operators room to do their jobs.

  • Keep well back from snowplows- Plow drivers can't see directly behind their trucks. Sometimes they must stop or back up. Staying a safe distance behind a snowplow will protect you from possible injury and protect your car from sanding material that plows spread on slick roadways.
  • Know where the snowplow is on multi-lane highways- The plow could be in either lane, or on the shoulder. Watch for snowplows on interstate ramps and "authorized vehicle only" turnarounds.
  • Never drive through a snow cloud or whiteout conditions- You can't be sure if such conditions are caused by crosswinds or by a snowplow, so be patient. Snowplow operators periodically pull over to allow traffic to pass.

Snowplow operators are extremely safety-conscious, but they need your help. Stay back and let them safely do their job of clearing the road for you. Don't take a chance. Don't crowd the plow!