What Is a Safety Incentive Program?

Like all employees, commercial vehicle drivers appreciate being acknowledged for the good things they do. Fleet-wide safety incentives are a great way to do this. But, incentives can’t just be handed out freely - there’s a time and place for them. Here is HUB’s “how to” for driver safety incentive programs:   

A successful safety incentive program rewards workers for safe behavior, provides workers incentives for reporting injuries, or hazards encouraging worker involvement in the safety and health management system.

Benefits of Driver Safety Incentive Programs

A successful safety incentive program enables you to reward your drivers for being their best, which includes clean roadside inspections, positive vehicle observations, safe driving records (mileage, calendar year, etc.) and proper safe driving practices as measured by telematics devices. Benefits of a rewards program include:

  • Drivers who meet safety standards can help improve a fleet carrier’s ISS scores.
  • Reduce vehicle crashes.
  • Promote positive brand reputation.
  • Minimize injuries and cargo issues.
  • And most importantly, reduce driver turnover.

A safety rewards program enables you to reward your drivers for being their best, which includes clean roadside inspections, positive vehicle observations, safe driving records (mileage, calendar year, etc.) and proper safe driving practices as measured by telematics devices.  

When Should You Offer a Driver Incentive Program?

Two incentive periods are recommended – one quarterly or monthly and the other yearly. With just an annual rewards program, often a single disqualifying violation will eliminate an otherwise good driver’s opportunity to earn rewards for the remainder of the year. With a quarterly or monthly award, every driver has a chance to continue to be recognized during the calendar year.  

Some fleets will also offer a smaller, continuous, on-going rewards program.  These can include handing out small prizes regularly, like $10 gift cards for coffee or sandwiches for drivers known to “always do the right thing,” have a very positive on road observation, a clean roadside inspection, or mentor a less experienced driver.  

How Should You Offer Rewards to Your Drivers?

Safety rewards need to be both meaningful and attainable for drivers. This will vary based on type of fleet, location and corporate culture. For example, one fleet’s cash incentive rewards program might offer $500- $600 per year for a perfect driving record, while another might need to offer $3,000- $4,000 to be meaningful to the drivers. It all depends on local and corporate standards. For some drivers, a quarterly $100 bonus for clean roadside inspections and no preventable vehicle crashes is a good threshold. 

WHAT should you offer drivers as an incentive? 

Successful rewards programs will be layered to include different types of compensation and criteria for earning. Monetary rewards are important, but so are recognition awards that  offer company clothing, pins, hats or flags. Similarly, signage on the driver’s vehicle announcing they’ve driven 100,000 accident free miles, for example, is valued by all.  

While incentives offer individual recognition to each deserving driver, these programs also promote a team-based culture that enables everyone to rise to the top and create a “stickiness” that makes it harder for a driver to leave. Contact your HUB transportation specialist to find out how we can help you initiate an incentive program for your fleet. 

Does Your Safety Incentive Program Need to be OSHA Approved?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates safe and healthful working conditions through enforcing standards and doesn’t need to approve your safety incentive or rewards program. However, a successful safety incentive program needs to be strategic and it's important to incorporate to be effective. Read more about OSHA and safety programs.

 

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