Dying for a delivery

Growth in deliveries saw a massive increase during the pandemic. In 2020 alone, there was a 30% increase. As we head into the Festive Season, the number of delivery and just-in-time drivers will again increase significantly as more purchases are made.

The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, advises giving your drivers extra support during this time. “Delivery drivers face significant pressure on a daily basis and now as more people rely on deliveries, this will increase more. In the USA in 2019, delivery and truck drivers experienced the highest number of fatal on-the-job with nearly 2 000 drivers losing their lives.

“While organisations also face pressure to deliver on customer demands be cautious of neglecting training during this time. With the wide variety of ways in which training can be delivered from eLearning to training snippets like MasterDrive’s Toolbox Talks, businesses can still provide support in areas identified as high risk.”

During the Festive Season place extra emphasis on training solutions that address common accident scenarios:

  1. Parking

Backing out of parking spaces are prime opportunities for incidents. “This is the reason MasterDrive advocates reverse parking so that there is a clear view when leaving a parking space. Instruct drivers to assess available spots and select one that does not require reversing,” says Herbert.

  1. Manoeuvring

Drivers face difficult sharp turns, narrow roadways and tight entries during deliveries. “Require drivers or co-drivers to get out of their vehicles and walk the path like one would do when off-roading. This helps one quickly determine the best route, avoid difficulty when leaving and identify potential hazards.”

  1. Stationary safety

South African delivery drivers, particularly those delivering high-end goods, also face carjacking and robbery risks. “Remind drivers about safety procedures implemented to safeguard them and the importance of adhering to these when crime is on the rise. Provide extra guidance and reminders on minimising this risk as far as possible.”

  1. Re-entering traffic

Drivers need to navigate re-entering traffic multiple times a day. “Train drivers to always enter traffic with a ‘buffer’ around them. Should something go wrong, there is space to take evasive action. Training should also provide guidance on optimal usage of mirrors, not rushing into traffic and to be aware of changing conditions.”

  1. Loadshedding

Consider the impact loadshedding has on both drivers and delivery schedules. Account for the time constraints it creates so no undue pressure is placed on drivers. Train drivers to navigate intersections during loadshedding. Unfortunately, in South Africa, driver impatience and frustration blurs decision-making. Identify common causes of collisions in intersections during loadshedding and help drivers lessen their risk.”

Implement extra training initiatives during the Festive Season so that it is not one of tragedy and loss for your employees, their families and the organisation.