WE STRONGLY believe that one accident is too many,” said Terry Hanning of the Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan.
With a goal of zero incidents, Dow has developed a specific safety program for its third-party carriers, counting any accident a carrier has as a Dow accident, Hanning said.
The safety-based performance program eliminates the word “behavior” from its vocabulary. Instead, Dow stresses a plan to involve drivers in accessing on-the-job data. Safety directors oversee the program; terminal managers oversee the program at the terminal level; and drivers gather the data.
Drivers are given a form that they can use as a check-off list for their observations as they go about their work. To begin the program, he suggested carriers choose their best drivers and then rotate the other drivers at each phase. Drivers observe actions that could lead to accidents and document them. However, no names or truck numbers are included. After the data is gathered and evaluated, the information is posted on bulletin boards and disseminated through newsletters or other communication sources.
Each group should be composed of three or four drivers. The group selects a percentage reduction for certain accidents that appear to be recurring, for example rear-end collisions. Drivers observe patterns on the job that contribute to rear-end collisions and then analyze the information for preventive measures to be adopted.
“It's not rocket science, but the drivers begin to notice their own driving habits,” Hanning said.
Tom Hosty, safety director at Transport Service, Hinsdale, Illinois, and Roy Acton, Mission Petroleum Carriers, Houston, Texas, seconded Hanning's remarks.
“Drivers want to be very involved,” said Hosty. “You have to have a leader at the terminal.”
Acton noted that involving driver trainers can lead to a successful program, and he suggested managers emphasize that the program is awareness-based, not driver performance-based.