Organizational Effectiveness of Driver Safety Programs

Originally published in Fleet Management Weekly 10/13/2020

By Teri Snow, CSP, CEO of Snow Advisory, LLC and eDriving’s EHS&S “Guru”

After evaluating a number of Best in Class EHS&S programs and Driver Safety Programs, it is quite revealing to find that many organizations are managing their Driver Safety programs quite independently from their EHS&S programs and vice versa.

In fact, for a variety of reasons, many Driver Safety Programs are managed by a completely different part of an organization; one which is often focused on claim costs, procuring assets, and maintaining vehicles. All of which are important considerations, but these groups are not necessarily knowledgeable in all aspects of EHS&S best practice and systems. These separate organizational workstreams can unknowingly create a number of gaps in risk reduction initiatives and organizational effectiveness.

Let’s take a closer look at how such programs might be managed. Often, a Driver Safety Program is missing some of the key elements that would help it achieve “Best in Class”. For example, it may fail to share the same level of operational excellence as an organization’s EHS&S Program; one that is embraced by senior leaders at all levels of the organization, where employees in a variety of functions are included in design, development, and evergreen improvements.

It is worth noting the wide variety of risks associated with Driving for Work purposes, and the recognition that the vehicle is treated as a “workplace”. Around the world, there is now legislation in place that does not distinguish between vehicles which an organization directly owns or leases, and personally-owned vehicles (i.e. the “grey fleet”). Keep in mind that outsourcing vehicle operations to contractors or to employees themselves does not remove the obligation to provide a safe workplace from an organization.

Safety on the road depends not just on individual behavior but more importantly on the actions and controls put in place by an organization to ensure that risk is eliminated or minimized (as reasonably practicable). Organizations are required, by law, to manage the risks associated with driving for work, and that’s why it’s so beneficial to have systems in place that ensure Driving for Work activities are aligned with wider safety requirements.

Clearly, there is a lot of responsibility in sustaining such programs. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that Driver Safety Programs deserve more attention and are developed in a way that enables them to evolve into a Best in Class program that is aligned with the greater EHS&S framework.

About Teri Snow
eDriving’s Brain EHS&S Advisor Teri Snow, CSP, is an independent Health and Safety Advisor at Snow Advisory, LLC with over 30 years of practical experience with multifaceted complex Health and Safety regulations at various levels of manufacturing industries as an EHS Leader both at a Site and Global level.  She has a proven track record of developing strategic compliance plans and finding creative solutions to complex cultural challenges that result in vastly reducing EHS organizational risk.

She is a recognized technical expert with diverse experience in developing and leading High Hazard Industrial Safety, Innovative Cultural Safety, Global Health and Safety Audits and Global Commercial Driver Safety strategies.