Safety Without a Plan is Just a Wish

Cindy Leonard

Often, in transportation safety, we talk about having a plan.

  • Planning ahead for a safe ride home if you’re invited to a celebration that will serve alcohol
  • Planning a social gathering that includes mocktails that are enticing and festive
  • Planning a journey through journey management amps up your awareness of potential pitfalls, such as construction delays, and helps you chart out rest breaks to combat fatigue
  • Sticking to a plan even when unforeseen circumstances arise

“I feel good to drive home. I only had a couple of beers.” That kind of talk demonstrates the need for creating plans while sober, and underscores how judgment while impaired can be weakened.

How do we prepare for the pitfalls? You guessed it—planning is a great place to start. As an employer, your role is key in enabling employee safety in the workplace and on roadways. Here are a few tips for helping your employees plan. You can quickly share these without scheduling a full-blown safety talk (send one each day of the week via email or upload to your intranet safety page):

  1. Provide reflective vests for all employees to keep in their vehicles. These are easy to buy in bulk, scrunch up in a glove box and are perfect for that “rainy day” that involves a flat tire. Sure, some of your workers may elect to wear these vests 365 days a year. A fashion statement? But the very fact these vests came from you reminds them you value their personal safety, on and off the job.
  2. Use 360-degree window clings in a similar way—all employees, all vehicles can use the reminder of G.O.A.L. (Get Out and Look). This is a great way to prevent drivers from hitting objects and a great way for drivers see what might be hidden from the driver’s seat.
  3. Talk about impairment and share our games, learning management system activities and training webinars with all employees. Support their best plans to not drive while intoxicated. Our social media platforms supply followers with safety reminders, including reminders on impairment risks. These reminders are easy to share on your own channels and will not take your employees away the job. They can scan posts at their own leisure. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Join our LinkedIn group.
  4. Implement journey management planning for business travel. We have pieces that can get you started, including this one: How to manage journeys that include driving.
  5. Ask Our Driving Concern staff for more ideas; we are glad to help. Email: ourdriving.concern@nsc.org

Circumstances change, but planning is a habit that is always time well-spent.

– Cindy Leonard is a senior program manager with the National Safety Council