OHS Canada Magazine


April 13, 2012

Health & Safety

DES PLAINES, IL (April 12, 2012) – A comprehensive standard aimed at increasing commercial motor vehicle operations’ safety developed by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) was approved recently by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The revised ANSI/ASSE Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations, Z15.1-2012, standard approved March 28 will be effective August 20. The practices in the standard are designed for use by those responsible for the administration and operation of motor vehicles as part of organizational operations.

ANSI/ASSE Z15.1-2012 calls for organizations to have a written motor vehicle safety program that defines organizational requirements, responsibilities and accountabilities for drivers and motor vehicle safety; to have a written safety policy that includes communicating management’s concern for the health and well-being of drivers throughout the organization; how to have a system of responsibility and accountability in order to ensure effective implementation of a vehicle safety program; a driver recruitment, selection and assessment program; orientation and training; a system in place to report to corporate executives major incidents, trends and safety performance, including the immediate reporting of major incidents to management; internal and external communications programs to be in place, (this includes contingency communications with the media); inspections and maintenance; regulatory compliance; and audits.

“This comprehensive standard provides in one document the guidelines needed to help organizations address a wide range of safety management issues related to motor vehicle operations,” ANSI/ASSE Z15 Committee Chair, ASSE member William J. Hinderks, CSP, ARM, senior loss control consultant at Artex Risk Solutions.

“With this standard there is a more common understanding of what is meant by a driver safety or fleet safety program reducing any implementation complications. With an effective national consensus standard, everyone is able to read off the same page making it easier for organizations to hire safer operators for example, and for contractors to comply with customers’ safety requirements thereby increasing roadway safety.”

The standard provides guidance for occupant restraints; impaired driving; distracted driving; aggressive driving; journey management; and, fatigue. The standard also covers operational policies on vehicle business use; vehicle personal use; driver-owned/leased vehicles; and, for using rental cars. The standard also provides guidance for driver qualifications; vehicle management; and, incident reporting and analysis. Sample policy/acknowledgement forms are included within the Appendix of the standard including a business use policy, a personal use policy, and a distracted driving policy. The Appendix provides guidance on incident rates including various methods of calculation as well.

“This standard gives employers a credible tool that is reflective of best practices. Employers who operate noncommercial fleets can learn from commercial fleet operators on matters of common interest,” ASSE professional member and ANSI/ASSE Z15 committee member Tim Healey, director of safety, at The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co. (HSB), said. 

“After all, common management goals, regardless of who the fleet operator is, should include crash avoidance – and all of the fatalities, injuries, property damage and expenses that result – as well as economical/efficient operation.

No employer can afford to have an employee operate under the influence, text, or fall asleep while driving on company business, whether it is in an 80,000 pound tractor trailer or a 3,600 pound sedan.” 

ANSI Z15.1-2012 also includes definitions as well as data gathering, statistical analysis; vehicle selection, equipment, inspection and maintenance; initial, refresher and remedial driver training; and other pertinent functions.

Founded in 1911, the 100-year-old Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety society. Its more than 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professional members are committed to protecting people, property and the environment. For more information go to https://www.asse.org/cartpage.php?link=standardswww.asse.org or contact customerservice@asse.org.

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Contact:  Diane Hurns, 847-768-3413, dhurns@asse.org


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