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Six Common Management Actions Improve Quality of Truck Drivers

Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group recently released the results of its 2006 workers' compensation trucker survey. The study found that driver quality is improving slightly, thanks in part to these six common management actions:
  • Selecting workers based on their ability to perform essential job functions
  • Setting and maintaining high expectations for worker performance
  • Measuring worker and management performance frequently
  • Providing feedback on performance
  • Using interventions to change behaviors associated with injuries
  • Adopting and enforcing specific policies to reduce injury and crash potential
The study also found that while the frequency of crash injuries decreased, their total cost percentage increased. Crashes now account for more than $1 of every $5 of incurred loss. Handling cargo injuries accounted for 14% of the total costs, down from 15.4% in 2005.

Other key findings include:
  • Four out of five companies use a hiring checklist to document each step of the hiring process. Those using a hiring checklist had 30% lower injury frequency rates.
  • Four out of five companies have a written seat belt policy. Close to 50% of the companies have a written seat belt policy and enforcement activities. Those with both the policy and enforcement had a crash injury frequency rate that was 33% lower than the group that did not.
  • Companies that provide technology for driver managers so they can verify available hours of service for drivers had a 37% lower crash injury frequency rate than those that do not. Providing this technology shows a management style that believes in monitoring performance.
  • Three out of four companies use written agendas for training. Using written agendas and group size had an impact on the injury frequency rate. The injury frequency rate went down as the training group size went down. Those with written agendas and one-on-one training had a 30% lower injury frequency rate than those not using written agendas.