August 10, 2023

What’s needed to achieve safety operational excellence

All trucking companies want to keep their drivers safe, but too often operations and safety aren’t on the same page.

While companies may equip trucks with video safety and video telematics devices that gather key data, if there’s a lack of trust between drivers and leadership, it’s impossible for managers to effectively leverage those safety insights to influence driver behavior.

“When it comes to safety, there’s untapped potential within an organization, and especially with its people,” said Jeff Martin, VP of global sales strategy at Lytx, the transportation industry’s trusted leader in video safety and video telematics. “You have potential in an organization to not only improve your trip efficiencies, but also your fleet maintenance operations, your logistics and your customer service.”

If a driver doesn’t believe that safety is at the heart of an organization, the company has lost that person’s trust. Just as in any situation, a lack of trust in someone makes it hard to forge any sort of positive relationship.

When safety underpins all of a business’ operations as its top core value, however, it sends a message to drivers that their well-being, and that of other motorists, is the company’s highest priority.

“I think we’ve all been part of an organization where we trusted our boss and we worked together as one team and had great constructive conversations,” Martin said. “Making sure it’s a productive two-way conversation is much different than a lecture. When you improve safe behaviors through trust, everything else changes.”

Asking drivers how to improve their job instead of telling them facilitates an environment for continuous improvement in safety and also impacts other areas, like service efficiency, fleet maintenance, dispatching and coordination among departments.

“At the end of the day, it’s a mindset and management establishes it. Drivers need to feel like it’s OK to call out hazards, ask for relief or guidance, intervene on behalf of themselves or someone else, or stop work authority,” Martin added.

Only once safety is at the heart of every business decision, and the relationship between leadership and drivers is built on trust, does the door open to achieving safety operational excellence. 

Trimac, a North American leading provider of bulk shipping solutions, is living proof that centering all operations in safety from a top-down approach is effective in driving meaningful change. By implementing a new three-pronged approach to safety, and utilizing Lytx’s video safety and video telematics to take action, the company was able to achieve a 50% reduction in accidents.

MV Transportation, a provider of paratransit services and the largest privately owned passenger transportation contracting firm in the U.S.,  also understands the importance of entrenching safety in operations.

“By operationalizing safety, you can save lives, reduce claims, and mitigate risk,” said Stephanie Weber, vice president of safety at MV Transportation. “Proactive safety is a process and methodology that leverages video safety and fleet telematics technology to create insights for operations to reduce incidents/accidents and risky behavior for reliable, consistent, and correct execution of the policies, procedures and practices that make up risk management.” 

Lytx’s video safety and video telematics devices capture physical evidence of what drivers are experiencing on the road and how they are responding to conditions. Its devices utilize artificial intelligence to identify distracted driving or other unsafe behaviors, allowing businesses to pinpoint coaching opportunities.

“It’s not the most data, it’s the best data that wins. Supervisors and managers only have so much time in a day to have a discussion with drivers. Leadership has got to make sure they have the right information and have the right driver at the right time for the right reason. If you miss any of those steps, you lose credibility,” Martin said.

Lytx has been the trusted provider of fleet management telematics solutions to the trucking industry for the past 25 years. Its video safety and video telematics solutions empower fleets to grow a culture of safety operational excellence within their organizations.

Click here to learn more about Lytx.


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

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