If you’re a fleet manager, part of your role is ensuring the company’s biggest assets (the vehicles) are in perfect working order. That means regular maintenance checks, daily walk-arounds and investment in upgrades. But reverse back one step, because actually, a transport company has a whole lot of other assets equally important to the company: their people. And as a boss, you’re ultimately responsible for them. |
For a courier driver, staying safe and productive on the job depends not only on their van, but also on their mental and physical health. Fatigue is the biggest cause of road-related incidents, so use the following tips to ensure your workers are not a danger to themselves or other motorists while out on the road.
Know Thy Courier Driver
By this, we mean not only their personality, but also their medical conditions. It’s your duty to be aware of whether or not an employee is on any kind of medication that could impair their ability to drive safely and cognitively. Even medications like anti-histamines, anti-depressants and antibiotics can affect driving performance. While it is certainly the individual’s responsibility to disclose details of any medication, it also falls to you to be proactive, observant and act accordingly.
Education is Key
While it might seem like common sense, it’s up to you to make sure you educate your drivers on the importance of sleep, as it’s all too easy to cut corners. Focus on how being tired can affect concentration, reflexes and judgement, and recommend the pre-requisite eight hours for optimum alertness. Tips you can offer for a good night’s sleep include:
• Making the room as dark as possible • Using earplugs • Upgrading to the best mattress and pillow they can afford.
This one isn’t just advised, it’s the law, and if you aren’t enforcing mandatory rest and meal breaks for each and every courier driver in your fleet, the consequences can be serious. While the rules are clear (and if you don’t know them, you’d better refresh your memory now), it’s important to stress to your employees that if they are feeling fatigued in any way they should pull over to rest and revive, even if they’re not due a break.
A Little Help from Technology
Further to the point above, a great little tip to pass on to drivers is to consider investing in one of the many alert products that are available – perhaps you could even do it as a company initiative. By tracking the behaviour of the courier driver, they can alert of impending fatigue even if the user isn’t actually feeling any symptoms. This enables them to stop and take a break in order to recharge.
The brutal truth of our industry is that fatigue can be fatal, so taking care of your employee’s health is paramount. Follow these simple tips alongside regular maintenance of all your fleet vehicles and you’ll reduce the risk of any accidents or incidents.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day jobs for courier driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.
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