Defining Risk Management
Although it’s the last of the Four Pillars of Fleet Success, Risk Management is arguably one of the most important pillars, as it focuses on keeping your staff and stakeholders safe.
We define Risk Management as “The proactive process of identifying, assessing, and controlling the threats to your organization and stakeholders.”
Why Is Risk Management Important?
In fleet, it’s impossible to eliminate all of the risk when running an operation. Between using dangerous tools and equipment and dealing with inclement weather and other drivers on the roadways, there will always be threats your technicians and drivers will encounter.
The goal of Risk Management is to identify what can go wrong and put plans in place and take the proper safety precautions to eliminate as much risk as possible.
Ways To Reduce Risks
The key to Risk Management is the second word in the definition – Proactive. Being proactive allows you to identify, assess and determine how big of an impact a threat can have on your operation and its people.
Some ways you can reduce these risks are to:
- Be proactive instead of reactive. This can include developing procedures and processes for your staff to follow.
- Perform regular preventative maintenance and inspections. This will help identify issues before they become larger – and put your drivers and others on the roadways at risk.
- Identify your risks. You can’t prevent what you don’t know. It’s essential to understand what threats your operation faces each day.
- Install the latest safety technology. Adding onboard cameras, collision avoidance, ELDs, telematics, and other tools can help reduce risks.
- Perform drug tests on your employees. It’s crucial to test your employees – especially your drivers – to keep drug users off the roads and out of the shop.
- Run background checks on your employees. You need to know if anyone applying for key positions on your staff has a criminal history so you can take proper precautions and be fully informed when making hiring decisions.
How To Assess Your Risks
What threats do you need to address at your fleet operation? You need to know what risks you are currently facing, and what potential threats you could encounter in the future.
Some ways you can assess your risks are to:
- Review compliance requirements from the Department of Transportation.
- Perform risk assessments at your shop.
- Budget plan for the unknown to ensure you have a cushion.
- Perform an audit – both of your safety processes and your finances.
- Review your current processes and procedures and update them as needed.
- Review your emergency preparedness plans and make sure they are communicated to your staff.
- Take a look at your current staff and create a succession plan – both in case of retirement and if someone unexpectedly quits.
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