Prior to the operation of any motor vehicle, drivers must be appropriately trained and demonstrate competence. Cal-OSHA does not regulate motor vehicle use or the enforcement of the applicable regulations. However, under the rule that an employee is entitled to a safe workplace, OSHA requires employers to have programs in place to protect workers and anyone who may be exposed to a worker’s actions.
Employers whose employees are required to drive as part of their duties have several options to ensure the competency of their workers. Companies should have a program outlining their policy and the procedures to embrace safe driving. The main program is a Motor Vehicle Record check (MVR). An employee may be required to provide access to their driving record as maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Depending on the employer’s risk tolerance or the type of vehicle the employee is driving, this may be as basic as ensuring the employee has a valid license, up to special requirements for driving special vehicles. Special vehicles may include on-road or off-road vehicles, trucks, buses, emergency response vehicles, or other special purpose vehicles.
Other programs that an employer can implement in their fleet include defensive driver training, GPS tracking and speed restrictions, or a camera system that records employee responses to emergencies. One of the most basic programs that every fleet operator should have in place is a maintenance program. Not only does this include regular visits to a vehicle mechanic, but should also include regular inspections of the vehicle by the operator/s. In some cases this may be daily, but if the vehicle is heavily used by different drivers an inspection may be necessary at the beginning or end of every shift. Vehicles with defects should be repaired or replaced.
To get more information on the applicability of driver safety programs for a specific County operation please contact the corresponding departmental Safety Coordinator.
For further information on specific regulatory guidelines please refer to the link(s) below:
Employee Pull Program
Commercial Driver Program
DOT Random Drug and Alcohol Testing
Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes (OSHA)
Safe Driving Programs (CHP)