Keeping your employees safe — and lowering the risk of a workers' compensation suit — doesn't just apply to when your workers are under your roof. If you run a business that sends your staff out into the community, you must also have plans for promoting safety. This is especially true if your business has vehicles — for example, a courier business. While back injuries might be a primary concern when your courier drivers are frequently lifting heavy packages throughout their shifts, you must also take steps to lower the risk of vehicle-related injuries to your drivers. Here are some steps that you can take in this regard.
Regular Vehicle Maintenance
You should establish a maintenance schedule for each of the courier vehicles in your fleet and ensure that you stick to it. This should include a multi-point inspection performed by a licensed mechanic. For example, you might arrange to have each courier truck or van dropped off at a local garage every month, thus allowing a mechanic to go over the entire vehicle and look for issues that could increase the risk of an injury. For example, if the mechanic notices a brake issue, he or she can fix it before the driver is unable to stop and ends up getting hurt in an accident.
It's also important to put some onus of responsibility on the drivers themselves by having them complete a pre-run checklist before they drive out of your lot to start their shift. Develop a lengthy checklist and stress that each driver must go through it and identify any issues — and clear them with a supervisor — before driving away. This checklist can include things such as the vehicle's brake lights and turn signals working, the roll-up door performing as it should, and other similar things.
Because your courier drivers drive for a living, it's easy to assume that many of them are skilled at doing so — and this certainly may be true. However, you should always be proactive in keeping your drivers as safe as possible by having them complete driver training regularly. For example, defensive driving courses are a valuable way for drivers to lessen their risk of being in accidents, as this training can make them more aware of the risks that they may encounter and understand how to avoid them. With these measures in place, the likelihood of one of your courier drivers getting hurt and taking legal action against you is less. Should any accident occur, be sure to promptly contact a workers compensation attorney.