Transportation Safety: Vehicle Self Inspections
Oftentimes, the care provided to your residents includes providing necessary transportation. While you may have some of the safest and skilled drivers, there are other factors that pose a risk for accident and tragedy; including the level of maintenance conducted on vehicles. Many transportation accidents are caused by poorly maintained vehicles.
To minimize the risk of a transportation accident, it is important that your organization conducts regular vehicle inspection and maintenance checks. By assigning one employee to the responsibility of managing this program, you can ensure the upkeep of owned vehicles, as well as private vehicles.
Inspection and Maintenance Items
Items to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis include:
- Brake system;
- Steering and suspension systems;
- Oil and lubrication systems;
- Electrical systems;
- Coolant systems;
- Exhaust systems;
- Tires and wheels; and
- Safety and emergency equipment.
In addition to inspecting, there are numerous parts that will need to be replaced regularly. To avoid in-service failure, consider creating a replacement schedule for the following items:
- Brake shoes and pads;
- Springs, shocks and struts;
- Belts and hoses;
- Tires; and
- Windshield wiper blades.
One way to make vehicle inspections and maintenance simpler is to create a schedule for each vehicle. Not only will this provide a cost schedule for each vehicle, but also allows for quick evaluation of prior maintenance. Develop a vehicle history file to record inspection and maintenance information, including date, mileage and the assessments or repairs completed. Be sure to have a file for each vehicle and ensure that regular records are kept.
Implementing an Inspection and Maintenance Program
With frequent inspection and regular maintenance, any potential vehicle problems can be identified and corrected. Operating safer vehicles better ensures the safety of your residents and that your next resident outing doesn't end up on the side of the road. To help you implement an inspection and maintenance program, please view the Vehicle Self-Inspection Checklist Directions and Vehicle Self-Inspection Checklist, as well as the additional information provided on the GuideOne Risk Resources for Health Care website.