Using Fleet Technology to Reduce Accidents and Liabilities on the Jobsite

By James Boileau, P.Eng. and Andy Peterson, The Zurich Services Corporation

years, more truck and vehicle accidents are being reported both on and off jobsites for several reasons, including the challenge of finding experi- enced workers and drivers. As a result, contractors face the challenge of navigating heavy traffic areas in construction sites due to a constant flow of vehicles both from company- owned fleets and from subcontractor and supplier vehicles. Additionally, many of today’s


projects are in dense urban areas, where the volume of private vehicle and pedestrian traffic adjacent to the site is higher than in a suburban or rural area. Tis puts the public at risk of accident and injury as well. Te frequency of fleet accidents is

on the rise, as are the medical bills, vehicle repairs and liability payouts resulting from injuries to people and property. With these rising costs, fleet managers are looking for ways to improve fleet safety and reduce fleet accident-related expenses. With potentially many vehicles on the road or on jobsites each day, many contractors have large fleet accident exposures that could be more effec- tively managed using technology. Technology is improving

efficiency and safety for contractors in many areas, including fleet safety. In

ith the construction industry experiencing healthy growth in recent

fact, the fleet management market is expected to grow from $10.91 billion in 2013 to $30.45 billion by 2018, according to a MarketsandMarkets September 2016 Report, “Fleet Management Market by Deployment Type, Solution (Operation, Asset, Driver Management, Vehicle Maintenance & Leasing, and Driver Information System,) Connectivity Technology, Industry, Service, and Region - Global Forecast to 2021.” Fleet intelligence tools can help improve productivity, cost savings and even enhance customer service.

The Power of Telematics in Improving Fleet Safety

Advancements in telematics

technology are helping construction companies reduce fleet accidents on jobsites. Many companies have adopted this technology to monitor vehicle location, performance and driver behavior. Telematics combines GPS technology and integrated telecommunications to provide a real-time snapshot by sending, receiving and storing information about each vehicle in a fleet, providing vehicle tracking and diagnostics.

Key Considerations When Implementing a Telematics Program

A key first step in implementing a

telematics program is for a company to develop a clear objective of what they want to accomplish. Is it to. . .

Acknowledgement: Adapted with permission from FMI Quarterly ( knowledge/articles/2016/10/using-fleet-technology-to-reduce-accidents-and-liabilities-in-construction).

16 March/April 2017



 Provide more efficient movement of materials, equipment or workers from jobsite to jobsite?

 Improve driver behavior?  Track vehicle maintenance records?  Manage Department of Transpor- tation (DOT) driver logs?

 All of the above? Once your objectives are deter-

mined, other considerations in implementing a telematics program include:

1. Select a system with the right fit – When choosing a system,

in addition to evaluating the telematics’ capabilities, companies should consider how their employees will use the systems. Tere can be significant differences in the amount of time it takes to train staff and implement different types of technologies. Having the “best” system may be less important than having the system that fits your organizational needs.

2. Plan the pilot phase carefully – Companies should structure a pilot program to fully understand how the system works and then address any issues before imple- menting a telematics system for the entire vehicle fleet. Selecting which vehicles, employees and super- visors are involved, and defining the communication process, can make or break the success of the effort. It’s often helpful to set clear and measurable goals and activities for both managers and employees involved in order to get their buy-in and feedback.

California Constructor

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