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3 Fleet Safety Tips for Utility Fleets

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Your utility workers are at risk for serious accidents and injuries every day. However, their biggest risk doesn’t come from fixing downed lines, climbing telephone poles, or digging up high-pressure water lines. The biggest safety risk for utility workers is driving.

Driving to and from job sites in company vehicles puts your workers at risk for accidents and injuries that can lead to:

  • Increased insurance expenses
  • Workers’ comp payments
  • Damaged vehicles
  • Reduced inefficiencies
  • Court dates
  • Fines
  • Deaths

However, these accidents don’t need to be a concern for you and your utility workers. Accidents are preventable, and when you put resources towards making your workers safer, you can save your company hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

With the three utility fleet safety tips we’ll share in this article, you can save your company time and money while protecting your people.

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Why Should You Care About Utility Fleet Safety?

Imagine one of your employees rear-ends someone stopped at an intersection. There are no injuries with only minimal damage, but the police need to come to the scene.

How much do you think it would cost your company?

On average, this type of accident costs companies $16,000.

Most folks look at that number and think, how could that possibly be? Well, take a look at that list above of all the things that an accident can lead to. Most of those cost you money.

In addition to that list, you have lost time from the workers and administrators that have to deal with the repercussions.

The price only goes up when accidents get more serious. If anyone is injured, you’ll be shelling out a minimum of $75,000. If the worst happens and someone dies, you’ll be spending $500,000 or more (assuming you’re still allowed to operate).

With these in mind, why would any company choose to put workers out on the road without any utility fleet safety training in place?

You can easily spend less than $10,000 grand a year on training, and if it prevents just one minor accident, you’ve already made back your investment.

How to Improve Utility Worker Safety

Like we said earlier, accidents don’t just “happen.” They’re caused by people and their unsafe behavior. More importantly, that means they can be prevented.

With that in mind, we’ll share three utility fleet safety tips that will help you reduce accidents:

  1. Effective new-hire defensive driving training
  2. Implement ongoing safety training
  3. Use proper selection & hiring

New-Hire Training

Your current new-hire training likely consists of paperwork, a quick facility tour, and on-the-job training. These are all important aspects of job performance, but without effective new-hire defensive driving training, you’re exposing yourself and your employees to serious risk.

Best-in-class utility companies implement online/self-directed safety training. This is a cost-effective, time-efficient, and productive way to reduce accidents.

A program like The Fleet Safety Course will:

  • Reduce accidents by 20% or more
  • Give you access to a world-class learning management system
  • Make all of your company training easily accessed online by all employees

Implement Ongoing Safety Training

You can’t just train your new hires and cross your fingers that your accidents go down. Yes, new-hire training will have a positive impact on your company’s safety, but it’s not enough on its own.

Think of it this way: what do you remember from high school math class? Can you solve a quadratic equation for two variables? Of course not. And it’s because you haven’t been “re-trained”.

We recommend you host monthly safety meetings, each focusing on a single safe behavior your employees must use to prevent accidents.

Our clients use our product The Monthly Safety Initiative to receive everything they need for their monthly safety meetings. This way, you don’t have to spend your time researching and putting together powerpoints. You’ll have professional-grade safety training for no work on your end.

Use Proper Selection & Hiring

Unfortunately, in rare instances, training won’t be enough. Some people are just not a good fit for your company. Maybe they take too many risks, they’re unreliable, or they’re just a plain jerk.

It’s expensive to hire someone and find out they’re a poor fit after the fact. Worse yet, they can cause an accident because they don’t care what your training says about safety or defensive driving.

There are tools out there that companies use to hire the right person for the right job every time.

At a minimum, we recommend you implement:

  • Time-of-hire drug testing
  • In-person interviews
  • Structured interviews that are scored based on the employee’s answers
  • Online, self-directed personality tests

Even today when every industry is struggling to attract high-quality applicants, you can’t afford to roll the dice. The cost of going without an employee pales in comparison to the cost of a serious accident.

Improve Your Utility Fleet Safety Today

If you’ve gotten this far, we assume you like what we had to say. So you might be wondering: where do I start?

You can’t go off to the races with a dozen different ideas. You’ll work yourself to death trying to implement all these new strategies without any positive results.

At the same time, you can’t afford to wait. Your next accident could be waiting to happen tomorrow.

You need to start somewhere, so why not sign-up for a 14-day free pass to The Fleet Safety Course? No commitments and no credit card are needed. Just world-class safety training that you can implement immediately. 

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