Components of a Safety Program
A safety program or plan is a written document that outlines the safety practices and expectations for all employees within an operator’s organization. A program needs to be customized to meet all of the safety issues of the operator.
It is recommended that a safety program address at least the following issues:
- Speed limits, seat-belt use, drug and alcohol use, defensive driving, fatigue management, load security, and fuelling
- Proper records and recording of information, including bills of lading, manifests, dangerous-goods documents, time records, drivers’ daily logs, daily inspection reports and weigh slips
- Policies indicating that drivers are expected to comply with the law, as well as policy and procedures related to driver training, responsibilities, conduct and discipline
- Instructions for the use of safety equipment issued, including the use of flags and flares, fire extinguishers, goggles, and hard hats
- Training for employees about safety laws and their application
- An ongoing program for evaluating employees’ driving skills
- Retention of complete records for each driver
- Policies for ensuring that drivers are properly qualified for the type of vehicle that they operate
Communication is key to the success of a safety program. A system could be developed to ensure that:
- Management is aware of all critical items that affect the company, so they can respond to problems that arise.
- Items such as training, incidents, collisions, convictions and so on are documented.
- Recall systems are set up for items such as annual inspections, expiry dates for drivers’ licences, drivers’ abstracts and schedules (for preventative maintenance, future training and so on).
- Employees are trained, and trainers are qualified to give instruction.
- Employees, by attending training, know what is required to be in compliance with the expectations outlined in the safety program.