OSH 3301, Fleet Safety 1
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit VI Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
3. Examine fleet safety issues that are unique to specific industry and organizational needs. 3.1 Explain the safety factors that are tied to the operations of bus systems.
4. Explain contemporary practices in driver training and instruction.
4.1 Identify factors that are necessary for a driver to successfully operate a fleet vehicle and maintain traffic safety standards.
4.2 Define what influences impact vehicle operations and driver controls. 4.3 Describe the components of fleet safety procedures and accident prevention methods that help
maintain safety performance.
Reading Assignment Chapter 4: Vehicle Engineering and Ergonomics, pp. 47-93 In order to access the following resources, click the links below: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. (n.d.). Driving and ergonomics [Fact sheet]. Retrieved
from http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/driving.html National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (n.d.). School buses. Retrieved from
https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/school-buses Our Daily Victory. (2015, November 11). Driving ergonomics [Video file]. Retrieved from
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1NEBXfiFUM Click here to access the transcript for the video Driving Ergonomics. Schaidt, B. [Braden Schaidt]. (2015, February 24). Vehicle ergonomics [Video file]. Retrieved from
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SbmjS57LKU Click here to access the transcript for the video Vehicle Ergonomics.
Unit Lesson Introduction Vehicle engineering and ergonomics play an important role in not only safety operations but also human interaction when operating fleet vehicles. Understanding the mechanics of safety operations within a fleet allows safety managers and drivers the ability to recognize the various aspects of safety implications within a workspace environment such as a fleet vehicle. Experienced drivers know that they must operate within a limited workspace while ensuring they maintain full safety practices and procedures while operating their vehicle each day. Controlling Potential Hazards Ergonomics addresses the productivity process within an operational environment. Addressing potential on-
UNIT VI STUDY GUIDE
Vehicle Engineering and Safety Principles
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the-job injuries can provide effective interventions for modifying current operational standards and increasing productivity for any company. Limiting exposure to ergonomic risk factors can increase efficiency. Knowing how to efficiently operate a fleet vehicle can also increase productivity while lowering the risk for any on-the- job injury. Since fleet drivers need to hold a specialized skillset to operate within their environment, they should be prepared to operate the vehicle that they were trained to operate. There are various types of fleet vehicles such as box trucks, commercial semi-trucks, and vehicles with different types of axles, all of which can impact the driver and how he or she operates. User behaviors and environmental factors also affect this. Turning, acceleration, deceleration, tracking, and speed are all contributing factors to a driver being able to control potential hazards while driving. Implementing these engineering controls can help reduce the potential for accidents. Additionally, occupational stress can present a situation in which drivers must respond to hazards. Fatigue is recognized as an occupational stress that can threaten the overall operation of a vehicle. This factor can be combined with a heavy workload and variables such as lack of job security, lack of job control, and lack of supervisor support that all increase work environment stressors, which will eventually lead to hazards that the driver must face in operating the vehicle. Safety managers can promote policies by enhancing and facilitating proactive safety procedures for drivers in the operation of fleet vehicles. Providing timely identification of potential risks, in addition to traffic safety principles, facilitates roadway safety and operational excellence. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a new analysis indicating that highway deaths increased by 7.2% from 2014 to 2015. Unfortunately, this data of roadway fatalities breaks a recent historical trend of fewer annual fatalities (Patil & Rosekind, 2016). Given this, safety managers are implementing more innovative safety measures in an attempt to mitigate and lower the risks of both driver accidents and on-the-job accidents.
Factors for Consideration Vehicle power requirements, cargo mass vs. fleet vehicle, and mass-to-power ratio are three examples of the impact that fleet vehicles can have on the roadway as well as traffic safety. Within this, human factors are essentially what operate the vehicle up to its standard. One main use of a fleet in everyday use is transit buses. These fleets are widely used and are a popular way to provide public transportation. However, given the fact that there are multiple vehicles used in these fleets, there are safety measures that must be followed each time a bus is in transit and operating in traffic. Human factors that play a role in the operation of this type of fleet are the driver, onboard passengers, boarding passengers, and service personnel. First, drivers must
Fatalities and Fatality Rates, 1997–2015 Bar Graph (Patil & Rosekind, 2016)
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have clear visibility in each direction of their view to safely operate the vehicle. The design of their workspace within the vehicle must meet federal requirements for their headrest, backrest, seat position, and the location of their steering wheel to be in alignment with their seat. Next, onboard passengers must also receive ergonomic considerations such as handrails available for use and seats that have the appropriate amount of space between each passenger, both side-to-side and front-to-back. Third, boarding passengers should be able to clearly identify their buses visually from a distance and to recognize the ergonomic factors that help assist them to board in a safe manner. Finally, service personnel should have access to the fleet vehicle to repair any necessary item(s) to ensure the bus continues to operate in a timely manner for guests. In maintaining these features in this type of fleet vehicle, transit bus companies can then ensure safety standards for the rest of the operations. Just as with school buses, transit buses are considered one of the safer modes of transportation. Companies and drivers must consider the safety of passengers entering and exiting the transit bus as well as the positions of stop signs (clear to view), crosswalks, and parking areas. They must also consider defense driving tactics, the use of seat belts, and the continuous reviews of the fleet vehicle to effectively provide maintenance and full documentation on all operational use. A pre-trip vehicle examination allows the driver to maintain aspects of the vehicle that they can control to ensure safety. Being aware of a problem prior to driving can allow the driver time to resolve the problem. Also, drivers should be aware of weather-related problems that can arise while on the road. All fleet vehicles in operation should be operated by a trained driver who is aware of how the weather can negatively impact operations. Proactive Driving Traffic safety is recognized as one of the most important factors in operating a vehicle. Whether that vehicle is a personal vehicle or a fleet vehicle, all drivers must be aware of the potential factors that can play an important role in their driving skills and their reaction to a possible problem while on the road. Within traffic safety principles, everyone driving on the road holds responsibility in operating vehicles in a safe manner; however, it is the fleet driver’s responsibility to not only be aware of his or her driving but to also remain attentive to the vehicle’s operation, other vehicles on the road, and the physical locations in which he or she is operating. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials have delivered publications that provide detailed policies and practices on operating vehicles based on roadway geometry. They promote highway safety with the build of the roadways first, which allows the driver to respond accordingly based on training and knowledge of safe operations within certain environments. A good example of roadway geometry is a railroad. Drivers must take specific precautions when they cross a railroad (e.g., change their speed). They also bear the responsibility (like other drivers) of ensuring they avoid a collision in the rain. Fleet drivers are trained to be aware of their approach—to look ahead to avoid a potential problem. They are also trained in the non-recovery zone and the hazard zone, both of which impact their decisions to continue or stop. Longer sight distance is a popular tactic used in training because fleet vehicles vary from size to size, which means the cargo weight also varies. Given this, it may take longer for a vehicle to stop based on its size and its cargo. Drivers can use sight distance to help them calculate a stop in many different areas such as a railroad or when passing another vehicle. For example, if a driver is operating his or her vehicle at a speed of 45 miles per hour, he or she will need a minimum stopping sight distance of 360 feet to safely avoid an accident. Nighttime driving is another main point utilized in training a fleet driver. After sunset, a driver’s vision can be more strained while he or she is concentrating on driving. Reaction time to potential factors can be lowered significantly due to the restraint in vision. Perception and reaction times vary, and drivers now must deal with increased awareness in breaking, changes in colors, pedestrians on the road who are not as visible at night as they might be during the daytime, and stopping time. Driving after sunset can present more challenges to the driver than driving during the daytime. Some tips that are recommended by the Motor Vehicle Lighting Council (as cited in “Tips for Safe,” n.d.) include using your headlights in the appropriate manner, ensuring that others can see you through maintaining your exterior lights, adjusting your vehicle’s interior lighting to avoid glare, making sure to keep your eyes moving to prevent fatigue, using your mirrors, regulating your speed, and increasing your following distance. All of these recommendations are taught within fleet operations training and have been proven to help drivers to mitigate potential accidents while operating on the road after dark. Conclusion Safe operation of fleet vehicles begin with driver training. Drivers should be specifically trained in the correct
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operations of their vehicles in addition to being instructed within the many different areas of successful operations such as insurance, emergency operations, defense driving, fatigue, stress, vision, hearing, and mobility. There are many factors that play important roles in the driver’s operation of the fleet vehicle. Companies should instruct drivers on how to successfully mitigate potential issues and be proactive instead of reactive in operations. Accident avoidance and anticipation require training and a conscious effort to look ahead, maintain the correct stopping distance based on the vehicle, and anticipate a potential hazard that can possibly be avoided to prevent an accident.
References Patil, D., & Rosekind, M. (2016, August 29). 2015 traffic fatalities data has just been released: A call to action
to download and analyze [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.transportation.gov/fastlane/2015- traffic-fatalities-data-has-just-been-released-call-action-download-and-analyze
Tips for safe night driving: What you need to know about night driving. (n.d.). Road & Travel Magazine.
Retrieved from http://www.roadandtravel.com/safetyandsecurity/safenightdrivingtips.htm
Learning Activities (Non-Graded) Non-Graded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to submit them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information. Review the list of ergonomic risk factors and the impact on a driver by clicking the link below. Dorsey, G. E. (2012). Driving ergonomics [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from
https://www.aphis.usda.gov/mrpbs/emssd/downloads/Driving_Ergonomics.pdf Identify the most important factor that you feel has the most negative impact on a driver’s ability to safely operate his or her fleet vehicle. How can a company help mitigate this problem and potentially reduce the impact and improve overall driver performance?