We were asked by a SMS owner to lend a hand in answering a RFP Question. The response, listed below, was combined and blended with our text to create their response which listed below.
The Question was this:
7.4 (MS) Employee Training and Safety Program
The proposal shall clearly explain the Proposer’s policy for maintaining employee training
and safety programs. Explain how these programs meet or exceed FTA and WUTC
policies and guidelines.
This is the response provided (edited):
At COMPANY NAME, the safety of our passengers and employees is our number one job. COMPANY NAME has achieved and maintains the highest safety rating possible in the transportation industry. We have traveled an average of over XXXX miles annually in the last 7 years. Our safety record is a testament to our exceptional training program for our drivers as well as our non-driving employees. COMPANY NAME Inc., which does business as COMPANY DBA NAMES, has implemented a Transportation Safety Systems – Safety Management System (SMS) which has been branded www.SMSAFETY.com. This online Safety Management System is available to each and every employee and is a required component of employment. Each employee has a username and password, and in addition to the extensive baseline education materials, each employee is required to complete ongoing educational materials on a monthly basis.
Every driver is required to complete educational training every month to ensure current industry relevant safety, security and equipment knowledge. Additionally, within the system is a BLOG resource system, so as immediate educational opportunities related to Safety, Health and Security come up, those materials are immediately sent to all employees and a resource of educational materials is built as they are distributed for future reference.
To ensure compliance, COMPANY NAME Inc. has a multi-level compliance program. We verify the participation of the educational program, and with the implementation of Quarterly Safety meetings, as well as the online educational resources, COMPANY NAME Inc. has an elevated participation rate of Safety Education Resources and Programs.
Every driver is required to complete an annual review, and one of the first metrics is the completion of educational requirements. Additionally, every year at a minimum, every driver is required to complete a drive skills test review. As this is tied to the educational system, every employee is aware of the “Safety Culture” that we implement and adhere to. All Safety Sensitive Managers have completed the DOT required “Reasonable Suspicion Training” to insure safe drivers are on the road every day.
In addition to SMS NAME HERE, every quarter, we ground nearly our entire fleet for a day of driver training. It is mandatory for drivers to attend. During these driver meetings, we spend the bulk of the day training the drivers with safety as the number one topic. Some agenda items in the past have been practice chaining buses in the parking lot, correct and safe wheelchair lift operations, air leak check procedures as a refresher, and going over statistics from our safety officer NAME.
The root of our safety philosophy is found in the ‘Smith’ system of defensive driving. In 1952, Harold Smith established the Smith System Driver Improvement Institute, the nation’s first professional driver training company. He understood that most collisions are preventable if the right driving habits are learned, practiced and applied consistently. Since then, millions of drivers throughout the world have benefited from the program he developed. Today Smith System® is the leading provider of collision avoidance driver training. The five keys to the Smith system are as follows:
The five keys to the Smith system are as follows:
- Aim high in steering,
- Get the big picture,
- Keep your eyes moving,
- Leave yourself an out,
- Make sure they see you.
By using this system, our drivers have learned or have continued to be the safest drivers on the road. Another concept that we employ in our philosophy is ‘GOAL’, or Get Out And Look. This concept is simple but is often overlooked by commercial drivers. If you find yourself where you cannot see behind you or adequately in front of you, stop and get out and look before you move the coach. Our drivers use this technique in many urban situations when roads and turns can be very tight for a 45 foot motor-coach. Our drivers are not afraid to stop, even when it is inconvenient, and get out and look if they are unsure of their surroundings. With a focus on collision prevention through hands-on training, the proven Smith System concepts help fleet drivers to See, Think and React to driving challenges — no matter where they drive or what type of vehicle they operate.
COMPANY NAME also has several safety systems in place to ensure safe driving. On every coach, we have installed a drive cam, which is a two-sided camera mounted on the windshield of the coach. In the event of an accident or a sudden change in the coach speed, it triggers the camera to record the 8 seconds before the incident and the 8 seconds after the incident. Since it is a two-sided camera, we have the ability to see what was going on in front of the coach, and the behaviors of the driver before and after the incident. This helps us in the event additional training or corrective action must be taken.
Our coaches also have GPS installed. This allows us to track the exact location and traveling speed of every coach. Not only does this assist in identifying coaching opportunities, it also assists in our Radio and Dispatch Procedures.
Another safety feature on many of our coaches have SmartTires. SmartTires have sensors that alert the driver of any problems with air pressure in the tires. In the event a tire loses pressure, an alarm is activated in the coach and the driver can take the necessary preventative action to safely bring the coach to a stop and address any issues.
In order to determine if our safety program is working out in the field, we also conduct an annual ‘check ride’ with every driver in our company. During the check rides, the Operations Manager rides with the driver for nearly two hours, taking them through a battery of situations a new driver might find during their initial DMV CDL exam. The driver is then evaluated and it is determined how the driver can improve their driving.
As the DOT and FMCSA strive to implement the “Beyond Compliance” program, COMPANY NAME Inc. has already exceeded the baseline requirements of the FTA and WUTC at a Federal Level. In conjunction with Industry leaders, COMPANY NAME Inc. is on the cutting edge of developing the industry standard Safety Management System to ensure the highest level of Safety, Security and Health training available in the transportation Industry.