Safety1st – Back to work again

Back to work again – at-least for those of us in India who are in the transport, IT or other ‘allowed’ services. It’s been a month and we need to get our act together – more important, I need a way to wriggle out of all those home chores!

Vikram S. Puri, Inventor, Entrepreneur and Rotarian with multiple technology patents and 34+years of Supply Chain Experience

The lack of driving during the lock-down has actually created new and enhanced road-related risks that need to be addressed before we turn ourselves loose on the roads again. An accident, breakdown or stoppage en-route isn’t going to be easy to tackle now. We will need all the help we can get to stay safe on the roads, now more than ever.

Traffic is down, speed is up, across the world. Yet, no country reported a drop in accidents – this given the fact that almost 90% of all vehicles were off the road!

The Driver, The Vehicle, The Journey – Measure to Manage

Today, when we go back to work, here are some of the risks we and our people need to address afresh:

The Driver

  • Drivers already on the road for essential services are driving more hours and are fatigued – they aren’t very attentive and will be slow to react
  • Physical health of the drivers needs to be monitored, at least now – make sure you and your people are in good shape
  • Reaction times and muscle memory need renewal – you’re not as quick as you think; put away that mobile phone
  • Pedestrians are getting used to empty roads – watch out for them. They’re not watching out for you.

The Vehicle

  • Brakes, batteries, tyres, oils and liquids need thorough checks; especially look for tell-tale oil spots below
  • Rodent/insect ingress or damage – rats, bees and lizards could very well be nested in your vehicle, making a nasty appearance at 50 mph!
  • Compliances need to be updated, especially insurance – for example, expired commercial vehicles permits etc. in India are deemed valid to 30 June 2020, but NOT insurance.

The Journey

  • The CoVID virus can survive up to 72 hours on plastic, longer on steel. This needs to be understood.
  • CoVID defence kits for all vehicles, with a strong detergent, enough flannel and masks and some sanitiser.
  • Drivers need to be briefed multiple times about safety procedures. The routes must be clear and id cards/passes need to be verified for en-route checks.

Train, train and train again. Wash, wash and wash again. There is simply no alternative!

Whatever system you use to monitor and measure to keep your company and your colleagues safe, make sure you are able to track key HSSE parameters and lead indicators – you need a heads-up in advance and quite literally, not a post-mortem!

All of these checklists, driver health, behaviour and risk scorecards and more, in fact, a 360° view and complete journey risk management for your People and Material movement, with safety alerts and lead indicators are available on cloud platforms like FleetView, with little or no investment and pay-as-you-go.

Have a safe return to work and a better month ahead.

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