Jose Cueva
Jun 10, 2020

Safety has a major impact on a contractor’s ability to win work. Without a safety record strong enough to meet the requirements in your customer’s RFPs, contractors are inhibited from winning new work, expanding into new territories and generating overall business growth. Solid safety policies, a commitment to walking the talk as well as implementing technology to improve safety in your business are a positive investment in your people and culture. Conversely, safety policies and standard operating procedures that are not adhered to and not prioritized reflect poorly on ownership and can signal weak company values. When safety culture comes from the top down and is followed by everyone in every part of the business, real results can be seen in your safety performance.

The situation: There a several areas where safety can be optimized in your business, and attention to the behaviors of drivers operating your on-road fleet vehicles is one of them. Driver safety is a key safety element to address internally. Becoming proactive about the safety of your drivers is not only a smart choice, but a requirement if you want to keep your personnel and others on the road safe while eliminating avoidable safety incidents, accidents and costly violations to your business.

For contractors with heavy trucks and light duty vehicles in their fleet, driver safety protocols should be observed in all elements and areas of work both on and off the jobsites, from operating heavy trucks during excavation activities to driving offsite on a lunch break. When drivers are operating their assigned vehicles safely, the risks of incidents are reduced. Poor drivers have a detrimental impact on project and company success.

But how can you know whether your drivers are operating safely when your eyes are not on them at all times?

Driver-Scrorecard-5

The solution: Adopting a few key technologies with measuring tools can be a huge help. Digital technologies like can be leveraged by contractors as an internal way of identifying and curbing poor driving behavior. Driver scorecards display driving behaviors such as speeding, sharp turns, hard braking, not wearing a seatbelt and idling which are captured via sensors in telematic . Visibility into these behaviors can help contractors zone in on areas for improvements and instill safe driving habits by using a driver scorecard’s performance-based grading system.

Driver scorecard solutions facilitate driver safety monitoring and improvements by assigning performance-based metrics and corresponding point values that measure each driver’s routine habits with “scores”. These scores help to create accountability for drivers and build motivation for improvement organically. Employers can integrate driver scorecards into their corporate or project safety programs and associate incentives to scores and performance to further encourage improvement. With scorecards for everyone from foremen to owners, the driver scorecard program can also develop a friendly competition factor between drivers - both company and team wide.

Scorecards help employees and managers better understand their personal driving behaviors, and those of their team. They promote awareness so your team can proactively improve their performance behind the wheel and maintain safety at all levels. Scorecard metrics, generated by accurate and real-time data, can be analyzed by managers for proactive safety improvements across the organization. Eliminating critical instances in which drivers are being habitually unsafe contributes to the overall improvement in the company’s score, which over time will translate to a reduced number of safety incidents related to vehicle operation. As an additional benefit, reducing harsh vehicle handling and operating behaviors, like hard braking and idling, can help improve your vehicle performance and save costs over time by reducing excess fuel consumption and wear and tear on the brakes. And of course, safer driving habits lead to reduction in accidents/incidents which in turn have a positive effect on insurance rates and renewals.

In conclusion, maintaining visibility over individual and collective company safety behaviors behind the wheel by measuring individual employee driving routines and easily identifying areas for improvement with driver scorecards can bring valuable improvements to your safety programs and performance. It helps improve your safety record so you can win more work and gives you peace of mind that your team is operating safely in a hazardous industry like construction. But most importantly, this leads to safer travels for all sharing the road. Ultimately, investing in safety protects your most important resource.

Contact us if you care about getting your drivers home safely at night.

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About Jose Cueva

Jose applies his knowledge and first-hand construction experience to deliver innovative platform solutions to a growing number of companies. His involvement in both architecting solutions and delivering them enables him to cross over functional roles.