Paving the Way for Safety in the New Year

(Part 2 of a Two-Part New Year Safety Kickoff Series)

Lisa Robinson

We buy new clothes. We remodel our homes. We try a new dinner entrée.

Why? Everything needs to be freshened up once in a while, including your driver and transportation safety program. Or else you get the same results with the same tools. Am I right?

In 2021, safety doesn’t have to be the same old same old, not when the world starts to take on a new look. This is a perfect opportunity to clean out your safety toolbox, restock and recommit to a program that shines as bright as the morning sun peaking over the horizon at dawn.

This is your chance to add a touch of pizzazz. I am happy to help. Let me start by saying this: Safety doesn’t have to be boring.

I’ll say it again: Safety doesn’t have to be boring. Have some fun by incorporating new ideas and reaching employees with new types of safety messages. Have you tried sending a weekly safety email? Snapped photos and celebrated safety champions on your company’s intranet site?

What else? Let your imagination run wild. Tap into all of the free resources and virtual training opportunities that we offer through the Drug Impairment Training for Texas Employers (DITTE) and Our Driving Concern Texas Employer Traffic Safety programs. Visit our website:

To get more ideas, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We share resolutions (exercise more, lose weight and get organized) and road safety tips (before you depart: silence your phone, set your GPS device and pick a radio station or music playlist).

Since we are beginning a new year, this a good time to take stock of your company vehicles. You’ll want to ensure all maintenance is up to date and all vehicles are inspected at regular intervals. Do you have a software program to track issues and report on corrective actions?

PART I: Crashes Bring Tears, Safety Brings Cheers

If employees drive their own vehicles for work purposes, provide reminders so they keep up with maintenance. What belongs on this type of safety checklist? Some basics, for sure:

  • Check fluids (oil, brakes, antifreeze, etc.)
  • Keep a first aid kit at the ready (include reflective vests and orange safety cones)
  • Rotate and check tires for tread wear and balance
  • Replace worn windshield wipers
  • Get your brakes serviced following the vehicle owner’s manual recommendations

Also, be sure to encourage employees to maintain their personal vehicles, not only for their own safety, but also for the safety of all those sharing space on highways and city streets. Safer cars = safer roads.

A checklist can be an easy way for employees to stay engaged at a busy time of the year and avoid letting things slide because they have felt overwhelmed through the holidays and into the start of 2021. But, while a checklist can be helpful, it’s just one small piece of the safety puzzle. Build from the edges and fill in the center. Set a goal to create a safety puzzle that is 100% complete.

Be sure to also check over the safe driving polices you have in place. Don’t have any policies that address items such as aggressive driving, impaired driving and seat belt use? Don’t worry. We have created a template you can use at your location. Get it here: Sample Driving Policy.

I am happy to talk with you or deliver a virtual presentation to your entire team. We paint the bedroom to give it a fresh look. Let’s also work to find ways to keep driver and transportation safety fresh and at the forefront of our minds.

– Lisa Robinson is a senior program manager with the National Safety Council
Cell: 847-254-1181. Email:[email protected]