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7 tips to improve delivery driver safety

Delivery drivers face hazards on each shift they work. Not only do they have to worry about personal safety, but they need to be attentive drivers as well.

By understanding some of the more common risks, employees and employers can work together to ensure drivers make it home after each shift.

    Imparting safety on all drivers

    It is imperative that delivery drivers don't think that they are the ones who are legally liable when accidents occur. In the vast majority of cases, the onus is on the employer.

    • Proper training: Delivery drivers should be taught proper driving techniques. Employers should also introduce the company's safety rules and ensure that the workers understand them.
    • Caller ID: Making sure that there is a record of where the driver is going can improve safety. If your company accepts orders over the phone, caller ID can help to provide this. When recording an order, write the number on the caller ID, as well as any other phone number the caller provides.
    • Hours of operation: Many companies opt to avoid late night deliveries. Limiting the driving hours can help because it is more dangerous to do this job after dark. If drivers do work after dark, employers should provide them with a flashlight to make it easier for them to see.
    • Payment methods: Encourage customers to make payments using credit or debit cards. When drivers aren't having to deal with cash payments, they are less likely to be robbed. You should also ask drivers not to carry large sums of personal cash on their person when they are working.
    • Warnings on vehicles: Place a warning on the delivery vehicle about the lack of cash. Something like "Driver carries less than $20 in cash" might deter some potential robbers.
    • Empower drivers: While delivering to customers on time is important, companies must empower delivery drivers to make decisions with safety in mind. If a driver thinks something is amiss, they should be able to cancel or delay the delivery. For example, if there is a dog loose on the porch of a residence, they might not be able to safely make a delivery.
    • Body mechanics: These are important for any delivery drivers or assistants who are lifting heavy or bulky objects. Items like dollies and back braces, and team lifting protocol, can help these workers avoid serious injuries due to lifting.

    Delivery drivers who are injured at work should ensure that they seek out medical care right away. Workers' compensation should cover this cost. If the worker can't return to work right away, temporary disability benefits might also come from workers' compensation.

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