driving safely through public roads

Achieving your road safety goals starts with a robust plan built on a solid foundation. Whether your company is large, medium, or small and whether employees drive company-owned or employee-owned vehicles, your road safety plan needs a practical framework. The Four-Step Process (Plan–Do–Check–Act cycle) is a straightforward approach you can use to build a road safety program that’s right for your organization.

The main objective of an occupational road safety plan is to prevent work-related motor-vehicle incidents and minimize the injuries, financial costs, and other losses they cause. But before you can get to where you need to go, you need to know where you are and which route to take.

Your first destination should be to understand where your organization is and where it should be in terms of road safety. This can be done by:

  • Setting goals
  • Establishing priorities for action
  • Assigning responsibilities
  • Deciding how performance will be measured.

There are four main components at the Plan stage:

1. Know your responsibilities

Know your responsibilities

Every day tens of thousands of ON workers drive as part of their job. Some are professional drivers who operate large commercial trucks, courier vans, or taxis. Others drive non-commercial vehicles from one work location to another (e.g., a construction site, a client’s residence, or head office). In all cases, the time they spend driving is very likely the most dangerous part of their day.

Employers have a legal duty to protect the health and safety of their employees at every workplace (the office, construction project, warehouse, industrial plant, etc.). These workplaces include any vehicles employees may drive in the course of their work. This employer obligation is the same whether employees are driving a vehicle that is owned or leased by the company or one they own themselves.


2. Build commitment

Build commitment across your organization

Health and safety starts from the top down. In order for the plan to succeed, you need commitment from managers and supervisors to make road safety a priority and to achieving results. They must foster a strong safety culture not only by talking the talk but also by walking the walk. They need to model the same behaviours and attitudes they expect of workers.


3. Check the Gauges

Finding out how employees feel about safety issues

Before deciding what actions to take, it's helpful to understand where the company is in terms of road safety. Whether it's an online survey, focus group, coffee room chat, tailgate meeting, or a suggestion box, there are several powerful reasons for talking with employees about occupational road safety.

Checking the gauges (i.e., finding out how employees feel about safety issues) highlights the strengths of existing processes and points to areas that need improvement. The Road Safety Snapshot is a great way to check the gauges in your company. This is a ten-question online survey that focuses on key characteristics of effective road safety programs.


4. Identify hazards and assess the risks

Identifying the driving-related hazards employees encounter

Identifying the driving-related hazards employees encounter and evaluating the risks associated with them are fundamental parts of road safety planning. Recognizing the hazards at the “Plan” stage will enable you to set priorities and take action to prevent those hazards at the “Do” stage.