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Any worthwhile construction risk management program incorporates a thoroughly comprehensive vehicle maintenance program. It’s every bit as important in managing your exposure to serious risk. Choosing the right drivers, personnel, training and monitoring safety in the workplace are important components to consider when maintaining your fleet. Why? Because vehicles represent a significant potential for substantial loss to the organization.
The vehicle is a multi-ton mobile piece of machinery, capable of causing injury and damage to others and/or injuring the driver/employee. (Not to mention, consequently "injuring" the bottom line of your business, too.) Consequential losses may result in:
- Workers’ compensation claims
- Health insurance claims and costs
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
- Auto liability claims
- Reputation damage
- Administrative costs due to employee loss and replacement
- Business downtime
The solutions to these consequences are centered around avoidance, mitigation and management. Company vehicles must be maintained and in top performing condition to reduce the chances of an accident due to a vehicle malfunction or driver error resulting from equipment failure.
The policies and procedures to have in place encompass two key areas as follows:
1. Maintenance Inspection Checklists - Documentation of pre- and post- operations routine checklists. Drivers should be checking all before operating the vehicle:
- All mirrors
- Oil and coolant levels
- Tire pressure
These lists should be maintained and checked by supervisory staff on a regularly scheduled basis. If there’s a need for preventative maintenance, the vehicle should be promptly attended to before further use.
2. Vehicle Maintenance Log– Ongoing repair logs should be maintained for each vehicle regarding services such as:
- Oil changes
- Lubricant levels
- Wheel alignments
- Parts and repairs for items such as brakes
- Fuel and exhaust systems
- Steering mechanisms
- Windshield – wipers and glazing
These logs should be kept accessible in the glove compartment of each vehicle. The log should be checked on a regularly scheduled basis by supervisory staff. If repairs need to be made, vehicles should promptly be removed from the inventory/use list and repaired or replaced with a substitute vehicle.
With regularly scheduled maintenance and repairs, the long life of the vehicles is ensured. Avoidance of potential accidents due to poor performance is drastically reduced.
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