Public service employees have to work in all sorts of conditions. Sometimes, that means they’re driving in snow, ice, and fog. While the citizens of your community are at home as snug as a bug in a rug your people are out on the streets clearing the roads, patching holes, or trying to get the power restored. Remind your employees that when driving in adverse conditions, they need to slow down and leave even more room all around their vehicle.
Human beings are poor judges of risk. People worry more about getting bit by a snake than catching the flu. But they have a much greater chance of dying from the flu than a snake bite. Humans worry about tornadoes, but there’s a much greater chance that they’ll slip in their kitchen and die from the injuries of the fall. The most dangerous thing that your people do is drive a vehicle on the roads. There’s far more risk associated with driving than there is with any other work activity your people do. But this is rarely understood. Remind them almost daily that a lot of things can go wrong while driving and that is where their greatest risk is.
The highest ranking leader should always open and close every safety meeting.
Never stop or park a vehicle on a public roadway, unless you put out a live flagger or warning signs.
Rituals are behaviors or activities that are known to everyone and that are shared by the group. For example, you could create a ritual by meeting with drivers every Tuesday morning at 815 to talk about one safety tip. If you did this for several weeks, your people would fall into a pattern. They would expect it. Once they expect, it’s a ritual. Safety rituals can be very powerful tools for changing behavior.
Telling someone to be safe is meaningless. Instead, say something like, “be sure to leave a 4 to 5 second following distance today.” Or, “always communicate your intentions so the other guy knows what you’re going to do next.” If you’re not specific, you won’t change behavior.