Improving the Bottom Line for Agribusinesses

Posted May 14, 2018 by Administrator

Proper budgeting allows farmers to estimate their costs and profits for an upcoming production period. A solid budget will help farmers make decisions about their agribusiness as well as calculate their ability to achieve financial goals. These goals can include paying off or reducing debts as well as saving enough to make significant purchases for the farm. Budgeting is vital to completing business objectives because it provides a baseline. Without this reference point, farmers cannot hope to make improvements to their operation.

How Do Successful Farmers Budget?

The following are strategies prosperous farmers employ when managing their budget:

  1. Set goals. Budgeting should not be about breaking even. Budgeting allows farmers to visualize and achieve goals with a realistic margin. Goals can be short-term, such as producing more than the previous years, or they can be long-term, such as retiring within the next half-decade. Farmers who approach budgeting with a purpose will be better equipped to manage their agribusiness from year-to-year.
  2. Use budgets for daily management. A budget isn’t a one-and-done deal; it’s a living document that requires nurturing. Farming situations change and budgets should reflect this. Budgets allow farmers to make decisions such as planning for expenditures, making arrangements that will affect the next generation on the farm, etc.
  3. Make smart marketing decisions. Marketing in farming is not the same as marketing for a traditional office job. Farmers have to make decisions on when to sell crops, grain, etc. to ensure they remain in the black. While many companies approach marketing as a means to get rich quick, farmers use it as a method to avoid going in the red. Agribusinesses operate on thin margins and need to use their budgets to make sales decisions that keep their costs and profits in balance.

Budgeting is an effective part of risk management for farmers. In an industry that is often at the mercy of the weather, farmers need to take command of their budget to monitor the factors they can control. If your farm is struggling to manage its risks, Cline Wood can help. Contact us to learn more about assessing your risks and implementing strategies to mitigate them.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Medical Certification Submission Requirements Postponed Due to Cyber Attack on FMCSA Registry

Posted May 4, 2018 by Administrator

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced changes to the CDL Medical Certification reporting submission requirements, due in part to technical issues on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners registry website.

The FMCSA Medical Program requirements are designed to ensure commercial motor carriers are physically qualified to engage in interstate commerce. Drivers are required to obtain a medical exam from a certified medical examiner that is listed in the National Registry. In a new rule that is expected to roll out June 2, 2018, medical examiners are required to submit driver exam results by midnight the following day. However, due to the technical glitch in the current system, examiners are being told to hold on to the exam results from completed physical and then upload them when the system is back online.

The agency is postponing requirements that medical information on drivers and their exam results be submitted to state agencies for three additional years. The postponement is due in part to the technical issues that resulted from unauthorized access to the system, triggering the National Registry website outage. An incident in early December 2017 caused the National Registry to be taken offline, leading to interruptions in the development of the electronic transmission process.

Delaying compliance on the submission of the records until June 22, 2021 will give the agency adequate time to make the necessary programming changes.

Drivers are still required to self-report their certification status to their state agencies, a requirement that has been in effect since January 30, 2012. Certified medical examiners are encouraged to continue to conduct DOT physicals and issue medical examination certifications. Examiners are required to pass certain tests and become listed in the registry.

FMCSA has confirmed that no personal information was exposed in the December 2017 cyber attack. The registry has been down since December and continues to remain down. A simple search by zip code is accessible, but access to the full portal is still not functioning. The attempt to access data by the cyber criminals was not successful, and no information was compromised. Roadside inspectors are continuing to check drivers’ medical certificates, but there is a backlog of exam results being uploaded into the system due to the site still being offline.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Frequently Reported Technical Issues with Electronic Logging Devices

Posted April 24, 2018 by Administrator

Recently the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a list of frequently encountered issues that have been reported by motor carriers and drivers. These concerns have been found to be related to devices not being set up properly. Any of these issues could result in a device being investigated and possibly removed from the list of registered devices.

In a nutshell, the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rules require commercial truck drivers to keep hours-of-service (HOS) and records-of-duty status (RODS) reports using an electronic device or an on-board recording device. The ELD mandate also lays out certification and registration as well as performance standards for the use of ELDs. It is illegal for carriers to harass drivers based on ELD data and gives drivers recourse if they believe they have been harassed.

Here are some of the most frequently reported ELD issues.

  1. Erroneous Fields

The ELD rule specifies that drivers submit an output file. The acceptable ranges for these field values are also specified. When there are missing fields, or the fields contain invalid values, safety officials will not accept the file. The types of issues that are commonly seen include:

  • Incorrect field size (i.e. Shipping Document Number, Trailer Number or CMV VIN)
  • Invalid field ranges (Elapsed Engine Hours, Accumulated Vehicle Miles)
  • Missing fields that are required (Event Sequence ID Number, CMV Order Number, Last Name, Carrier Name)
  • Incorrect file and line data check values
  • Invalid characters
  • Invalid dates, times or numbers

The above inputs are data-checked by the FMCSA File Validator system.

  1. Invalid Delimiters

The ELD rule requires that the formatting of the output file must include comma separators and lines must be separated with carriage returns (<CR>). If your ELD output file has a value that includes a comma or <CR> code in it, the rule requires that these be replaced with a semi-colon.

  1. Pre-Configuration

The ELD rule requires that the ELD be able to transfer output files using both a web service and FMCSA email address. These transfer methods must be pre-configured into the device based on ELD rule 4.2.3.4, 4.10.1.1(b)(1), and 4.10.1.2(c).

An ELD should never send an email or output file directly to a safety official, and a driver or motor carrier should never have to request the email address or end points from the FMCSA or a safety official.

  1. Event Times

The ELD output file must have time reports listed in the time zone in effect in the driver’s home terminal. While date and time are recorded in UTC, if times are reported in UTC in the output file, it will result in the incorrect time being viewed by the safety official. This can be tested by viewing the safety official view of your ELD output files that have been successfully run through the File Validator. Or, you can test files that have been successfully submitted to the web services test environment. This ELD rule can be viewed at 7.8 and 7.40.

  1. 30 or More Days of RODS

The ELD rule specifies that ELDs be able to send a report for the current 24 hour period as well as the previous consecutive 7 days for review during a roadside inspection. An ELD must also produce records for a subset of its drivers, vehicles and the 6 month record retention period, as specified by the safety official, including 30 days’ worth of RODS. For more information, see ELD Rule 4.9.2(b).

  1. Incomplete Set of the Data Transfer Option

Any system that motor carriers decide to use that offers support must provide support for data transfer through either telemetrics (web services and email) or local transfer (USB and Bluetooth) options. Local transfer must include both USB and Bluetooth. For more information, see ELD Rule 4.9.2.

While changing from a paper logging system to an electronic logging device has been frustrating for carriers and drivers alike, ensuring that your device is properly configured from the get-go will eliminate at least some of the initial headaches that have been reported.

Cline Wood offers specialized insurance expertise. We are able to help drivers and fleets identify areas of risk as well as implement solutions to mitigate risks specific to the transportation industry. For more information, contact us today.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Developing an Effective Hazardous Materials Training Program

Posted April 19, 2018 by Erin

As the American economy has developed over the years, the transportation of hazardous materials has become a vital service to businesses and consumers alike.  These materials are used in so many ways, including cleaning our water, helping to grow our food, running our cars, and providing medicine to our families.  However, with these types of materials come significant safety risks (including chemical burns) – to truck drivers and anyone else who might come in contact with the materials.  In fact, #2 on OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for 2017 involved improper communication and training as it relates to hazardous chemicals.1

As an example of hazardous materials training in action, just recently a tanker truck carrying hydrochloric acid was involved in an accident with a train in Pennsylvania.  According to news reports, the acid spilled onto the roadway and billowed into the air.  Another truck driver familiar with hydrochloric acid was working nearby when the collision took place.  He knew what to do, grabbed his safety equipment, and rushed to the scene to give the driver of the tanker truck an oxygen mask while getting him to safety.2

To take the first step toward preventing risk of injury and becoming a safe operation, we strongly encourage you to develop a comprehensive hazardous materials training program.  Whether it’s a program that you develop from scratch or an existing training program that you enhance, an effective training program has many benefits, including3:

  • Develops a strong safety culture
  • Heightens employee safety by helping employees protect themselves
  • Improves a company’s effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity
  • Increases employee skills
  • May prevent regulatory sanctions
  • Aids in ensuring safe and secure shipments of hazardous materials
  • Reduces likelihood of catastrophic events such as fire or spill
  • Provides employees with understanding of why compliance and safety are necessary

Please click HERE to review and download a free guide from the USDOT, and get started developing your program TODAY!  For questions on this topic or to request a safety consultation contact Cline Wood’s Safety & Risk Management Team at 888-451-3900 or safetrucking@clinewood.com.

 

Scott Dunwiddie
Director of Risk Management
Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company

 

Sources:

1 “Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards”, https://www.osha.gov/Top_Ten_Standards.html, Accessed 3/28/18

2“What You Should Know: A Guide to Developing a Hazardous Materials Training Program”, U.S. Department of Transportation – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

3 “Road reopens, residents allowed back in homes after train crashes into truck hauling acid”, https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/road-reopens-residents-allowed-back-in-homes-after-train-crashes-into-truck-hauling-acid/711807985, Accessed 3/28/18

 

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

 

 

 

Four Critical Skills for Running a Successful Agribusiness

Posted April 17, 2018 by Administrator

In previous decades, farmers only needed to know how to grow and sustain crops to be successful. Now, the ability to produce a product is a given in farming. With improved technology and communication, almost anyone can grow crops with a modicum of success. Standing out above the competition, however, takes much more work. Farmers now must possess growing power and business savvy to differentiate and remain relevant.

Business Skills and Leadership in Farming

Bringing business skills into the farming industry increases the complexity but also the rewards. Farmers can no longer only rely on their skills at cultivating crops. The following are just some of the areas farmers must learn to navigate to keep ahead of rival operations:

  1. Innovative finance administration
  2. Consumer research and marketing
  3. How to apply and use agricultural technology
  4. Risk management strategies

Risk management, in particular, is a multi-layered concept. Farmers must consider how to avoid risks as well as deal with them should they occur. For example, farmers can take several measures to prevent fires; however, failing to establish a system to manage the aftermath of a fire is foolhardy. Even with the best preventative measures in place, accidents can happen. That is why farmers need to incorporate a number of insurance policies to protect their farm. Failing to invest in insurance coverage can bankrupt a farmer and destroy his or her operation.

The time has come and gone where successful farmers only needed to be good at production. Farmers that fail to improve their business expertise will find themselves falling behind those that invest in marketing, technology, and more to protect their assets. Cline Wood can help struggling farmers navigate the changing landscape of the agriculture industry while putting safeguards in place to protect their farm. Contact us today to learn more.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Propel Your Trucking Fleet Into the Future with IoT Technology

Posted April 10, 2018 by Administrator

The trucking industry drives the economy, literally.

Trucking fleets carry more than 70 percent of the freight that is transported throughout the U.S. Since so much cargo is being transported by tractor trailers, it is critical that trucking companies manage their fleets with as much efficiency as possible by keeping their expenses low and productivity high. Today, many trucking fleets are achieving this through the power of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Businesses in a wide range of industries are eagerly adopting IoT technology, and the trucking industry is no exception. Experts predict that 80 billion IoT devices will be online by 2025. All of these devices will be generating a great quantity of data – perhaps as much as 180 zettabytes. Companies are leveraging this wealth of data to improve customer service, increase productivity, reduce operating costs and automate processes.

In addition to these advantages, trucking companies that want to upgrade their fleets with IoT can further leverage the technology to increase safety and provide greater product and asset visibility.

Here are some innovative ways trucking fleets are using the IoT.

  1. IoT sensors

Sensors that are attached to rigs are able to collect valuable data about the vehicle. This data can then be used to gain useful insights to track, monitor, analyze and maintain all assets in real-time, wherever they are in the network.

  1. Sensor data and condition monitoring

Sensors collect and transmit key data to a central location, enabling fleets to monitor the condition of their trucks. For example, if the tire pressure on a vehicle gets low, an alert can be sent to the driver or maintenance shop so the tire can be properly inflated before there is a blow-out on the freeway.

  1. Data analysis

IoT and sensor data is useful for more than identifying maintenance issues. Data can be used to track patterns and needed areas for improvement. For example, if a certain brand or type of battery is dying too quickly, a report can detect the issue quicker than in the past.

  1. New business processes

IoT can help your company optimize your day-to-day operations. The types of logistics optimizations that could be impacted include:

  • Enhancing delivery strategies
  • Cutting travel costs
  • Reducing emissions
  • Routing optimization
  • Reduce tolls and fees
  • Fuel conservation.

Do You Know All of the Hours of Service Rules?

Posted April 3, 2018 by Administrator

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces several rules regarding how many hours a commercial driver may operate his or her vehicle as well as how many hours he or she can be on duty before taking a break. FMCSA drafted these hours of service (HOS) regulations to reduce drowsy driving and the related accidents. Commercial drivers need to be aware of these rules to avoid fines and out-of-service orders.

Commercial Drivers Carrying Property

There are different rules depending on the type of cargo a driver is transporting. Drivers delivering property must adhere to the following:

  • 11-hour driving limit. Drivers can drive up to 11 hours provided they had 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time prior.
  • 14-hour limit. Drivers may not operate their vehicle after being on duty for 14 hours. The 14-hour rule only applies after the driver completes 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time.
  • Rest breaks. Drivers must allow up to eight hours after they came off duty or rested in a sleeper berth for a minimum of 30 minutes before driving again. Short haul exemptions and mandatory in attendance time exempt certain drivers from this rule.
  • 60/70-hour limit. After being on duty for 60/70 hours in 7/8 consecutive days, drivers must take 34 hours or more of consecutive time off duty. The 7/8 day period resets after the driver completes the 34-hour restart.
  • Sleeper berth provision. Drivers who opt to use the sleeper berth provision must take at minimum eight sequential hours in the sleeper berth as well as a separate two sequential hours in the sleeper berth, off duty, or some combination of the two.

Commercial Drivers Carrying Passengers

Commercial drivers that transport living passengers have slightly different rules. While the 60/70 hour limit and sleeper berth provision are the same, there are notable differences such as there is no regulation for rest breaks. Other variances include:

  • 10-hour driving limit. Drivers can drive up to 10 hours provided they had eight consecutive hours of off-duty time prior.
  • 15-hour limit. Drivers may not operate their vehicle after being on duty for 15 hours. The 15-hour rule only applies after the driver completes eight consecutive hours of off-duty time.

Failing to comply with HOS rules can land drivers in hot water. FMCSA may subject them to fines or place them out of service entirely depending on the severity and frequency of the violation(s). These are just some of the numerous safety regulations commercial drivers need to know. As a transportation insurance expert, Cline Wood can help drivers and fleets identify areas of risk as well as implement solutions to mitigate them. To learn more, contact us today.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

What You Need to Know About the Livestock ELD Exemption

Posted March 27, 2018 by Administrator

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) electronic logging device (ELD) mandate went into effect in December of last year. However, the effective date was not without some exemptions.

  • The mandate grandfathered in individuals driving commercial vehicles with automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) through December 2019
  • Drivers operating vehicles manufactured prior to the year 2000 are exempt as well
  • Farmers and agricultural deliverers received waivers as well, exempting them so long as they were delivering agricultural commodities within a 150 air-mile radius

This final agricultural exemption, however, is set to expire on March 18. Farmers and agricultural haulers have submitted waiver extension requests, some as long as five years. The transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, however, has indicated a shorter waiver is more likely.

The issue with this looming expiration date is there is no indication when agricultural commodities transporters will receive this extension. While the answer remains murky, experts agree it is unlikely to come to fruition before the current exemption expires. This is a significant problem when considering the wellbeing of the livestock being transported.

HOS Regulations and Restrictions

Current hours of service (HOS) regulations limit drivers to 14 on-duty hours with no more than 11 hours of active driving in any given 24-hour period. Once a driver hits those numbers, he or she must stop and rest for 10 straight hours. This creates considerable difficulty for the animals and the driver relocating them.

Detractors point out that FMCSA set the HOS regulations for legitimate safety reasons. Allowing or forcing drivers to push beyond those limits can result in drowsy driving, accidents, and fatalities. The Department of Transportation (DOT) was not without sympathy for this conundrum, hence the original 90-day waiver. However, now that this waiver is about to expire, livestock transporters have little choice but to comply until the DOT agency releases the next waiver or enacts a long-term solution.

Solving the Livestock Problem

One proposed option is to plan routes with facilities that can handle livestock along the way. Even though this helps solve the problem of the animal’s wellbeing, it creates several other headaches. There are not enough of these types of facilities along common routes, meaning more would have to be built. This drives up costs for the livestock, which could be prohibitive. There are also other concerns such as security, the weather, and having the appropriate food and water on hand for the various animals.

While lawmakers continue to debate potential solutions, the agriculture industry needs to prepare for this shift. As a dedicated service provider to both the agribusiness and trucking industry, Cline Wood can help your business prepare for this change. To learn more about protecting your agribusiness, contact us today.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

How Will New Tax Reform Laws Impact Fleet Truck Drivers?

Posted March 19, 2018 by Administrator

The new tax laws that were passed in December 2017 include good news and bad news for trucking drivers, but mostly good news for independent owner-operators. While nothing changes for the tax year 2017, starting in 2018 company drivers will no longer be able to itemize their expenses. This law will dramatically change the number of itemizations a driver is entitled to deduct, especially per diem expenses, which traditionally has reduced drivers’ taxable income and put more refund money into their pocket.

In the past, drivers were able to deduct per diem and other expenses, such as:

  • Mobile phone and service
  • Work boots
  • Gloves
  • Bed linens for the sleeper
  • Other necessities required for on-the-road travel that was not provided by their company.

These itemizations disappear under the new tax law. However, don’t panic! The standard deduction that everyone is entitled to has almost doubled to $12,000, which should help offset the impact of the loss of the expense deductions, but it doesn’t offset all of it.
Luckily enough, there is a workaround.

Fleets will still be able to deduct the per diem that the company pays drivers as part of their wage. If a driver is paid per diem, a percentage of the cost will be per diem wage that is not taxed. Under the old laws, per diem paid to the driver by the company was almost always added back in because it needed to be reported to the IRS as income. Since this could be itemized by the driver, it made sense to claim this as income. But under the new law, per diem reimbursement pay can be written off by the company as part of their corporate expense. Everybody wins if the company chooses to operate this way.

Independent owner-operators and small fleet owners will still be able to itemize per diem deductions. They will also receive a 20 percent tax break, which will save them even more money. As long as trucking companies raise the amount of reimbursement per diem paid to drivers as wages, everyone will come out ahead under the new tax reform laws.

Regardless of the type of trucking company you operate, it is imperative that you seek out the services of a reputable tax preparer that is knowledgeable about the trucking industry. And, by the same token, it is vital that you seek out a reputable insurance carrier that understands the trucking industry. Click here to learn more about how the experts at Cline Wood can help you manage your risk.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Monthly Safety – Driver Safety

Posted March 12, 2018 by Erin

At Cline Wood, it’s our mission to partner with you in ensuring your drivers are safe, accident-free, and avoid costly claims that can have a major impact on both your drivers and your business.  Below are several great safe driving tips that we strongly encourage you to share with your drivers and incorporate into your safety training.

Use these safe driving tips to elevate your safe driving practices in the workplace.  

Leverage Management Commitment. Strong management commitment means that your organization recognizes driving as one of the most dangerous work tasks and does what it can to protect those employees who drive on the job. That includes identifying risks, training, and providing resources.

Select Drivers Carefully. Check Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) for all employees who drive on the job. Screen out drivers who have poor driving records since they are most likely to have accidents or cause issues. The MVR should be reviewed at least annually to ensure that the driver maintains a positive driving status. Clearly define the number of violations an employee can have before losing the privilege of driving for work, and provide training where indicated.

Prohibit Distracted, Impaired and Fatigued Driving. These risk factors are the greatest contributors to crashes and fatalities today.

  • Alcohol and drug impaired driving – Alcohol use is involved in 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes
  • Distracted Driving – More and more organizations have strong policies to prevent the handheld use of mobile phones for any purpose while driving

Enforce a Driving Policy Agreement with Employees. Your driving policies and procedures should clearly state your expectations. Establish a contract with all employees who drive for work purposes, whether they drive assigned company vehicles or drive their personal vehicles. By signing an agreement, the driver acknowledges awareness and understanding of the organization’s traffic safety policies, procedures, and expectations regarding driver performance, vehicle maintenance and reporting of moving violations.

Provide Driver’s Training. Make your driver’s training dynamic. Include videos, ride-alongs, driver observations, and other methods that engage employees. OSHA provides a variety of training resources you can provide your employees.

  • Driver Observations and Feedback – Nothing shows you care more than getting in for a ride. Giving your honest feedback can reinforce your commitment to safety. Use MMA’s Driving Observation Report Form as your guide.

Require seat belt use. It’s not optional. Seat belts are the single most effective means of reducing deaths and serious injuries in traffic crashes. Seat belts save nearly 12,000 lives and prevent 325,000 serious injuries in America each year.

Consider Using Driver Behavior Monitoring Technology. Many options are available for monitoring driver performance including OBD2 devices, telematics, and in-vehicle video cameras.

Make Vehicles Safe too. Pay close attention to vehicle selection, maintenance and inspection. A safe vehicle starts with the best safety features, and the best on-going care including excellent tires and brakes.

Investigate and report vehicle incidents. Ensure your drivers know what to do in the event of a crash. Use MMA’s Vehicle Accident Reporting document as a guide. Ensure that every driver has a copy or similar information.

Ensure Regulatory Compliance. If your fleet is subject to Department of Transportation regulations; embrace regulatory standards to improve your fleet’s safety.

 

For more information or for help putting together a safe driving training or policy for your organization, contact your local Marsh & McLennan Agency representative.

 

By David Rumsey, Senior Risk Consultant, MMA

February 28, 2018

 

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Copyright © 2018 Cline Wood.