It’s that time of year again. The temperature is dropping, and sudden wintery weather is upon us. That means the traffic in highly populated cities becomes even more of a hazard for your technicians and customers. It is important to stress cold weather safety while your workers are driving to and from service jobs in order to keep them safe and to maintain customer satisfaction.
In 2015, around 88 car accidents occurred every day in the U.S., according to research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. These incidents pose a serious risk to everyone on the road, especially when wintery weather starts to get involved. Ice, snow, or sleet; you name it and you can bet that it can cause an accident for those driving.
With this in mind, it is up to business owners and managers to prepare their service technicians for hazardous driving conditions. If you’re not sure how to provide your staff what they need to safely serve customers as temperatures drop and snow falls, we are here to help. Here are some of the most effective strategies for keeping technicians safe as they drive on wintery roads.
Promote proper vehicle maintenance
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is; everyone knows that vehicle breakdowns are always inconvenient. A bout of vehicle trouble during the winter months, however, can leave drivers and passengers out in the cold, literally.
A great way to prevent breakdowns from cold weather, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is to properly maintain service fleets. This involves having maintenance personnel evaluate batteries and tire tread levels before approving vehicles for winter service. That way, service technicians can start their vehicles without issues and safely navigate to their service job.
Other mechanical features such as exterior and interior lights and windshield wipers help drivers assess road conditions and maintain a clear view through the windshield. These safety features need to be assessed for proper function before sending drivers out on the road.
Stock vehicles with wintertime supplies
Now that your service vehicles are ready for the wintery roads, it’s time to prepare for what may happen once they’re out there. The National Safety Council recommends that service business managers plan for the unexpected and stock company vehicles with emergency equipment. Spare tires, jumper cables, and snow melts are good places to start to ensure your technicians are prepared for vehicle failures and hazardous weather.
OSHA also advises field crews to carry blankets, food, and water to use in the event they are stranded in a snowstorm or another form of intense weather. These items may seem mundane, but they can truly save lives. After all, your customers depend on their technicians to be prepared for anything, whether that is a disastrous leak in their home or a sudden blast of snow on the road.
Carefully plan field operations
In the service industry, managers and supervisors know how to meticulously schedule their customers’ jobs. What service companies may not know, however, is that during winter, scheduling becomes especially valuable. Something as simple as a work schedule can lead to immense improvements in worker safety, according to OSHA. Supervisors should be incorporating weather reports into their scheduling in order to determine the safest driving routes for technicians. This is just one other way field leaders can help their crews avoid dangerous roadway situations.
The care and attention to detail given to vehicles and road conditions during the winter months can help service businesses keep their technicians safe. Each step taken to optimize business practices can help owners run their company more effectively. Now, service business owners can go a step further in protecting their company by implementing service management software, which facilitates optimal field visibility and integrates with other safety-friendly modules, such as GPS fleet tracking. Learn more or request a demo from Service Fusion!