No one takes on home care and home support work thinking about all the hours they’ll be on the road. What inspires them and draws them to the field is the time they’ll spend helping people, not the stuff in between. Yet, the reality is that many will spend a significant part of each day just getting from one client to another, and while they are trained as professional care providers, they aren’t professional drivers. Chances are, planning for road safety is not on their minds when they get behind the wheel.
If you’re a business owner or a supervisor in the home care sector, it’s up to you to set up and promote a culture of safe driving. After all, you want to look after your valuable team members and you have a legal obligation to ensure their safety when they drive for work.
A good way to start is by considering journey management in your day-to-day operations. The goal of journey management is to reduce workers’ exposure to driving-related hazards and prevent motor vehicle incidents.
Journey management first asks the question, Is this trip necessary? In most cases, a home support worker doesn’t have the option of a phone call or email. Since travel is most likely necessary, could the care provider walk, bike, bus, taxi or ride-hail instead of driving? By simply reducing the amount of time workers drive, you automatically reduce their road-related risks.
Journey management helps you and your employees manage foreseeable problems through three steps when driving is necessary through these three steps:
- Identify potential hazards.
- Decide what will be done to avoid or minimize exposure.
- Build the trip plan.
By using an effective journey management process in your company, you can reduce the chances of employees being involved in crashes and reap further benefits such as reduced costs and enhanced productivity. Journey management will also help you fulfill legal requirements to show due care for the safety of your workers.
To help you set up a journey management process for your business, Road Safety at Work provides free tools and resources, many of them gathered into a convenient tool kit with sample plans, forms, and a journey management policy, as well as guidance on how to establish a check-in system. Related materials include:
- Building An Effective Journey Management Process (online course);
- The Journey Management Process (video); and
- Building Strong Road Safety Policies (tool kit).
Remember: Your people are your greatest asset. Protect them when they drive for work.
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