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Workplace Safety


By January 1, 2012No Comments

Risk management is a critical part of every business. Every employer knows that it’s cheaper to prevent risks than deal with the consequences of ignoring them. This means it’s important for all employers to screen applicants and monitor current employees. Some of the most costly mistakes made by employees take place when an employee must drive a company vehicle. Whether the nature of the company’s business is driving or delivering, accidents and their consequences can be costly for employers.

Companies who hire drivers must protect themselves and their driving employees. In order to protect themselves, employers should use motor vehicle reports, which are commonly referred to as MVRs. These reports aren’t difficult to obtain. In most states, interested parties can request this information online for a small fee. Some employers may also perform a background check to obtain a more extensive report. Any company regulated by the DOT is required to perform annual MVR scans on their drivers. Employers should always request the MVR of a new applicant for a job. In most cases, an applicant’s driving history is a good prediction of whether or not they’ll be a safety risk to the company.

It’s important to provide driving safety training to any employees who will be behind the wheel. Although new and current employees may have impeccable driving records, it’s important to take steps to prevent their records from changing. Regular training will refresh employees’ memories of important driving rules. Be sure to educate employees about all company driving rules and regulations. If there are any changes to a company policy, be sure employees are aware of the changes.

Companies of all sizes should utilize MVRs for screening. Many smaller companies think that MVRs are only necessary for larger companies. However, this isn’t true. Smaller companies often pay more for insurance that may not cover careless driving acts by an employee. Since smaller companies usually have less revenue than larger ones, a costly mistake by an employee could be a larger setback for a small company. Performing one MVR before employment isn’t enough. Since these reports change each time a new conviction or record is added, it’s important to request them periodically. Employees who begin showing patterns of reckless driving may need more training. In severe cases, they may need to be suspended from driving duties.

There are driver monitoring services available in some states. These provide employers with monthly or weekly updates. If drivers have license status changes or new violations, they’ll appear in the report. Companies with a large volume of drivers usually benefit from this service. Smaller companies should consider requesting an MVR every few months. It’s important for any company using MVRs to be aware of the regulations and statutes governing their use. State statutes, FCRA rules and DPPA regulations must all be considered. Employers must always disclose their reasons to employees and applicants for requesting such information. In addition to this, they must obtain written permission from these individuals before collecting regular MVRs.

Employers face several important considerations with MVRs. Companies need to develop a legal and fair structure for implementing driving restrictions. Decisions to restrict, suspend or terminate employees based on MVR information should comply with all applicable regulations. It’s also important to consider outside factors. Insurance is a major influencing factor for driving restrictions. Be sure to understand the company insurance policy and its provisions. Drivers who don’t meet the standards should not be permitted to drive company vehicles. If there are any questions or concerns regarding drivers and the company insurance policy, be sure to speak with an agent promptly.