You and your HVAC technicians face immense exposure to risk and cost of loss. Where does the risk come from? On-the-job injuries like strains and sprains? No. It comes from driving.
The fact is, driving is the most dangerous thing your HVAC technicians do. They face the greatest risk of accidents and injuries while they’re behind the wheel. These accidents lead to the rising cost of loss, reduced profitability, and painful injuries for your technicians.
The good news is, you can prevent accidents. If you focus on fleet safety training for your HVAC technicians, you can increase your profitability while preventing serious accidents.
Fleet safety training most commonly involves a combination of web-based courses and hands-on training to reduce risk and prevent accidents.
The core focus is defensive driving and how to prevent accidents behind the wheel, but it can also focus on preventing personal injuries/illness as:
The overall goal is to educate your employees on safety, risk, and how to prevent accidents.
And of course, this is important because your HVAC technicians are not experts at defensive driving. They are experts on what they view as the more important aspects of their job involving heating and cooling equipment. That’s why you must emphasize the importance of defensive driving to them. It will reduce accidents, injuries, employer liability, and cost of loss.
Accidents are a common part of any business that puts drivers out on the road. And even if your company hasn’t had a driving accident, chances are, it’s only a matter of time.
Organizations like OSHA and studies conducted on risk consistently put driving in the top ten most dangerous jobs. We’re not just talking about transportation professionals like truck drivers and bus operators. We’re talking about anyone who must drive in order to complete their job. That includes HVAC technicians.
This isn’t some sort of scare tactic. It’s just a fact of the business: it’s only a matter of time until one of your employees causes a major accident.
So, how bad is an accident? Is it worth putting forth the effort to stop it? It might surprise you to learn that even a minor accident typically costs a company $10,000 or more. If it’s a serious accident, that number sky-rockets to $75,000 or more.
Compare that to the average yearly cost of most training programs (just a few thousand dollars), it’s well worth it to intervene. You can protect your employees and your bottom line.
If you focus on training your HVAC technicians to prevent accidents, you will benefit from:
The cost savings greatly outweigh the investment.
You likely already have some form of employee training. You teach new employees company policies and procedures. If they have no experience in the industry, you teach them the basics of removing, installing, and maintaining your customers’ systems.
So, since you already have some sort of framework for employee training, you just need to integrate safety training.
Creating an entire fleet safety training program from scratch is expensive and time-consuming. Worse yet, if not made by professional instructional designers, you aren’t guaranteed a return on investment.
That’s why we always recommend investing in cost-effective options that are professionally produced and guarantee accident reduction.
With that tip in mind, here’s our formula for a world-class training program. Use this as your guide for reducing accidents:
With the framework set for a world-class fleet safety program, it’s time to focus on what topics to cover. After all, HVAC technicians face unique challenges.
As we mentioned, the folks you’re hiring aren’t defensive driving experts. That’s why you need to educate and train them on defensive driving.
You must teach them about:
We have an easy way to teach this: LLLC. Pronounced “triple - L - C”, this acronym stands for Look Ahead, Look Around, Leave Room, and Communicate. These four principles are easy to remember, quick to learn, and guaranteed to help reduce accidents.
Around 30% of accidents are rear-end collisions, making it the most common type of accident. Rear-end collisions are almost always caused by failing to maintain a safe following distance. So, if you teach your drivers to maintain a safe following distance, you’ve already eliminated their biggest risk.
However, HVAC technicians face an added risk for following distance: vehicle weight. Depending on your company, your technicians may be driving large vans loaded with heavy equipment. The added weight and size increases their stopping distance, thus increasing their risk of rear-end collision.
To account for this, you need to teach your technicians to always leave at least a 4 second following distance. That leaves them enough time and distance to safely stop.
More than 50% of fatal accidents happen at intersections. That makes them the most dangerous driving environment your technicians will face.
You need to teach them these safe intersection habits:
With cold weather comes increased demand for HVAC services. That means you need to educate your employees on navigating adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, sleet, and ice.
The most important aspect of winter driving is simple: slow down and leave more room.
Rain, snow, sleet, and ice all increase stopping distance because of reduced traction. By slowing down and increasing their following distance, your HVAC technicians will greatly reduce their risk of accidents.
Hopefully, we’ve made one thing clear: your employees face risk, and without training, they are not ready to handle this risk.
By investing in safety training, you will prevent accidents, protect lives, and increase your profits.
So, where to begin?
We recommend you start with an easy-to-implement online training course. A program like The Fleet Safety Course is guaranteed to reduce accidents. Best of all, it covers all of those important topics we mentioned above. Try it for free at this link.
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