IC Safety from Protective Insurance Company
August 2014 An exclusive publication for Protective's independent contractors
How to coach and reinforce safe behaviors
The main objective of any safety program is to eliminate accidents and injuries. However, this is easier said than done. According to the National Safety Council, the majority of accidents are a result of human behavior, not physical hazards.
Therefore, we must modify behavior by observing people as they work and talking with them about their actions as they occur. This involves much more than just understanding cause and effect relationships and providing ongoing training. It’s about developing good habits and putting safety above all.
Effective observations are not the same as "ride-alongs." The most successful behavior modification programs are unannounced and unfiltered, not when you are in the passenger seat or directly next to the worker. Begin by observing your drivers and helpers, and use a form to take notes while they are:
• at the station or terminal while loading or unloading
• performing pre-trip, in-route and post-trip inspections
• adjusting mirrors and backing up
• operating the vehicle on the road and performing tasks during stops
Remember to focus on the root causes of your most common and costly accidents, and provide feedback in the form of coaching. The primary goal is to help the driver understand their at-risk behaviors and develop corrective actions, not to find fault. To help guide you through this process and provide documentation, use our free behavior observation form.
Remember, actions influence performance. Feedback must be immediate, unbiased and constructive, with the understanding that you are truly interested in the driver's safety and well-being.
To build a well-rounded and strong safety culture, it’s also important to have the following programs in place:
• a formal written safety policy that clearly outlines expectations
• a progressive disciplinary program that includes documented verbal and written warnings
• a safety incentive program to reward and encourage accident- and risk-free performance
For assistance with these and other safety programs, contact our Loss Prevention Department at lossprevention@protectiveinsurance.com.
Free download: Behavior observation form
Download our free behavior observation form to assist you in observing and coaching your drivers. Download observation form >>


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