Create safer workplaces by reducing vehicle accidents
Nov 09, 2021 | 42Gears Team
If workers need to drive for their jobs, they may face a difficult dilemma. They need to be efficient and get things done quickly, but at the same time, they need to be careful and focus on the road. Given how common workplace vehicle accidents are, it's no wonder that companies frequently ask how to reduce vehicle accidents in the workplace.
Of course, many companies publish clear guidelines in place for how employees should focus on the road. That said, this may not be sufficient. While lists of best practices, like this classic guidelines by the American government agency OSHA, are very useful, they are simply suggestions. Someone could still be tired and fail to adhere to these rules, even if they know the rules exist. For this reason, it's worth looking at the role a company's IT department can play.Phones are a frequent distraction on the road - and while road safety guidelines often call out phone use as a problem, employees may not find this sufficient as a deterrent. After all, if a worker needs to complete a delivery quickly, the last thing in their mind is preventing a workplace accident. For this reason, it may be better to go beyond simply encouraging responsible device use.
IT Admins: How to Reduce Vehicle Accidents in the Workplace with Device Management
Instead, IT departments may consider controlling what company-owned devices can do while employees are on the road. Rather than just assuming employees will stay motivated, this ensures that everyone will follow best practices at all times. This will reduce the likelihood of accidents, and also foster a company culture centered around safe driving.
IT admins can first begin answering the question of preventing workplace accidents by implementing mobile device management software. Once they register devices, admins can control devices remotely. This includes regulating what apps and websites a device can access, when they access them, and in what circumstances an employee can use a device. As you might imagine, this is highly applicable in the context of vehicle device use.
Whether driving a car on a highway or navigating a forklift through a warehouse, managing devices can be an essential way to prevent workplace accidents. Let's review some of the specific ways that management software can play an important role in keeping drivers focused and responsible on the road.
- Controlling what workers can access
One key feature of management software like SureMDM by 42Gears is kiosk mode. This locks devices down to a list of apps and websites admins approve in advance of giving them to users.
In the context of in-vehicle device use, this means admins can restrict users to only those apps needed for driving. For example, this might include a GPS navigation app, an electronic logging device (ELD) app, and a phone app. Admins can hide every other app using the MDM software. This has the benefit of setting clear expectations for employees. After all, they now know exactly what they are allowed to do with their phones on the road.
- Turning Off Device Screens Based on Speed
Even if someone is using devices in an appropriate way, this can still pose a risk if the user is driving at high speed. While "high speed" in the context of a warehouse forklift may look different from high-speed on a highway, admins need to discourage device use in both scenarios.
With the help of an MDM solution, admins can implement a screen-blanking driver safety feature. In other words, if someone is moving too quickly, the MDM software can detect that. Then, it will automatically turn off the device screen. The only way to prevent this from happening is to slow down again.
While workers may find this frustrating, it sends a clear, important message. Namely, device use of any kind should only take place at a slower speed. While companies can simply ask employees to avoid device use at high speeds, the only way to ensure compliance is to actually implement screen-blanking on each device.
- Monitoring Device Health and Ensuring Devices Work
Of course, device use at high speeds is dangerous. Still, it is equally dangerous to deprive someone of a device when they need it. If someone is delivering a product in pandemic conditions, for example, losing their device may mean they cannot navigate properly. Workers are at greater risk of causing accidents in their haste to compensate for a lack of proper navigation.
With an MDM solution, IT admins can monitor device metrics like battery charge from the central MDM console. This way, if a device is about to lose all of its charge, the admin will see this, and can alert the driver. The admin can then investigate other metrics of device activity (such as excessive data consumption) to figure out why the device battery drained quickly, and how to prevent this in the future.
Conclusion: Combine Training and Tech to Reduce Workplace Accidents
It should go without saying that setting high standards for driver safety is important. In the past, it was only possible to do this by asking drivers to follow best practices. With the help of MDM technology, however, it's now possible to automatically make devices follow those best practices automatically. As part of a larger strategy of promoting driver safety, IT admins can play a major role by implementing MDM software. While there is no perfect answer for how to reduce vehicle accidents in the workplace, a combination of training and technology is a great step in the right direction.