Managing the Financial Side of Commercial Fleets

Building a Safety Culture for Company Drivers

July 2010, by Cindy Brauer - Also by this author

Click here for a pdf of the print version that appeared in the July/August issue of Fleet Financials.

Fleet safety and risk management experts agree, simply including safety directives in fleet policy documents alone does not improve risk management or preventable accident rates. Policy must emerge from a foundational corporate value that generates an overall culture of safety - overtly validated and supported by management from the highest level down.

Fleet and safety managers at companies recognized for industry-leading efforts in creating and maintaining such a culture report several elements are critical to its success and effectiveness. Chief among those elements is senior management leadership, commitment of financial and staff resources, accountability, and communication. Underlying a pro-safety corporate stance is not only sincere concern for employee well-being, but also the responsibility to protect the company's liability exposure.

Boehringer Ingelheim Continues to Refine Safety

At Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., safety initiatives have the "full backing" of not only sales management, but the company board of managing directors, which originated a new program described as the "next generation of a safety culture" at the 125 year-old pharmaceutical company, said David Redalieu, associate director of health and safety.

This high-level support is essential to the fleet safety program's continual refinement.

Based in Ridgefield, Conn., Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is the world's largest privately-held pharmaceutical company. It is committed to the research and development of innovative medicines that help improve the lives of patients and their families. The company also represents the primary U.S. clinical research and marketing arm for products developed by other units of its Germany-headquartered parent company Boehringer Ingelheim.

The U.S. company sales fleet includes more than 2,900 vehicles, primarily passenger cars, SUVs, and vans.

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