Depending on your department's accident rate, an Accident Review Committee (ARC) may not be a bad idea. There are many potential benefits, including:
The idea of an ARC is to modify driver behavior without taking disciplinary action. The remediation process and post-accident documentation should not be placed in an employee's personnel folder. Rather, records should be maintained by the designated driver training person in your department.
Your department’s standard operating procedures will dictate how to gather information and documentation. It is recommended that an agenda be prepared. Once the committee has reviewed all current accidents, "minutes" should be made that reflect the discussion, and subsequently be reviewed for accuracy.
When selecting the committee members, I recommend the following:
After reviewing each accident, it should be designated either "Preventable" or "Non-Preventable." Each driver responsible for the accident being reviewed should have the chance to appeal ARC's decision. Often, it may not have been the driver's fault, but the people assisting the driver. Those persons — if they are department personnel — can also be subject to remediation.
It is important to maintain a database in regards to your department’s vehicle accidents. The database can later be used to do queries for specific items. Among required information in that database should be:
Once again, the purpose is "remediation" — therefore, there should be a progressive system in place for those drivers with recurring accidents. The department I worked for has a four-step process, which can be adapted or integrated into your protocol as warranted:
This procedure provides a way to elevate severe accidents directly to Step 4, if suspected or obvious gross negligence on the driver’s part occurred and litigation could follow. But it also allows flexibility in the other direction, giving consideration to drivers who have not had any subsequent events. So if a driver at Step 3 remediation has been incident-free for two years, that person would be re-categorized as Step 1.
Being proactive with an Accident Review Committee shows that your department is making a concerted effort to correct problems while helping your personnel learn and improve.
This article was written for & published by MultiBriefs.com.