Hi All!
In my company our technicians are constantly on the field travelling from one site to another. They are under constant pressure to reach the site at the earliest and attend to faults. This has caused 3 to 4 fatalities . The company does not provide them helmet. Each time an accident happens all the managers point fingers at me saying how is HR going to tackle this and so on.
Frankly how can i reduce road accidents in my company?I feel its slightly out of one's control.

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Hi Lakshmi,
First need to understand which sector do you work with. Still few things to comment. Initiate the point of action consulting your management. Show them the fatal situation which happened in the past and mental agony and pressure which is dynamically created because of such incidents. Fix up the minimum time frame considering the probability of the employee reaching your customers/clients. Also ensure that you provide helmets for the employees. Please make sure the management understands to fulfill the basic needs of an employee to fulfill the task assigned.

From India, Bangalore
Hi I am working in the telecom sector. Our technicians attend to faults in the telecom tower. So when a site is down, the region around that site experiences signal problems. Hence the customer ( repliance/tata/ aircel etc jus for example sake) also put pressure on the technicians to reach the site at the earliest.

Hi Lakshmi,
I fully concur with Mahesh and would only add:
Are the vehicles provided for by the company?
If so, then helmets must also be provided; if not then the company has no obligation to do so.
However, good corporate governance dictates that employee Health and Safety must always come first, therefore, it will be prudent to supply helmets.
Furthermore as your clients are the likes of Tata, Reliance etc. I assume you will have Service Level Agreements.
These will need to be revisited and changed to give your company more travel time, I don't see this as a problem as you can cite the fatalities that have occurred as the reason. Obviously you will have to put this to management to take forward.
Also, you must immediately design and implement a Road Safety Campaign for the technicians, coupled with a Policy clearly stating consequences if the policy is breached. There cannot be any excuse for a road accident due to time pressures.
I hope the above helps,

From United Kingdom, Barrow
Thank you very much for the valuable feedback.
So my future course of action should be
1) Propose to provide helmets for the technicians
2) Get the circle head to incorporate in the service agreement that when a site is down, for the first 15 or 20 minutes ( or whatever time agreeable) no customer call should go to the technician. Only after the agreed time limit if the problem is not resolved should the call be made from the customer end
3) Road Safety Training: Its ironic that only last week I was in touch with the road safety foundation India to conduct training for us. They charge Rs 10000 per session . However they have trainers who train only in Hindi and our local language being Tamil , this poses a difficulty.
If any of you are aware of any NGO's that conduct this type of training in the South, kindly do let me know.or is road safety training something that I can research on the net and make on my own.
Thank you very much for the help provided.I really appreciate it.

Hi Lakshmi,

Thank you for your appreciation.

Re point 1) Please make sure that if the company is going to provide helmets they are of a good quality. If they are not and the technician has an accident where he suffers a head injury; he could have a claim against the company for providing equipment that was not up to standard, and therefore, contributed to the injury.

On the other hand if the technician buys his own helmet and the company reimburses the cost then the technician is responsible for ensuring the quality standard is met.

Re point 2) I would suggest that you put to the circle head that when a site goes down the customer should call the technician immediately to put him on stand by. This will allow the technician to plan the site visit in terms of route and time taken to arrive at the site.Then a second call be made should the technician be required. The technician should then be able to inform the customer his estimated time of arrival to the site (obviously allow an extra 10 - 15 mins in case of traffic delays), negating the need to rush and potentially cause an accident, which ultimately only serves to delay matters. Communication is the key and you will not breach any service agreements.

Re point 3) There is plenty of information on the net to help you formulate your own training. You can even print off a certificate for the technicians, which will help morale. I know of a good trainer in Mumbai who can deliver the course in English and Tamil, if you are interested let me know your contact details and I will pass them on.



From United Kingdom, Barrow
Dear Laxmi,

If your company has provided bikes to the technicians,then of course,it is the duty of the company to provide them the helmets otherwise they should have their own helmets unless there is a stipulations in their appointment letter or in the company's standing orders.The traffic rule provides that one should be wearing helmet while driving the two-wheeler.Can one say this to the traffic officers that they are not wearing the same because it is not provided by the management of the company.I am of the view that 'Safety is more important than the Entitlement'. My question is whether you will able to reduce or eliminate the accidents, if the company provides helmet to the technicians and not otherwise.

My advise would be that you impress upon the management that they cannot escape the liabilities as every employer is liable to compensate any of his employees, who suffers an accident arising in the course of his employment under the Employees' Compensation Act,1923, as such it is in their own interest that they should give utmost attention towards the safety of the technicians, who are constantly on the field traveling duties from one site to another.Your management can start some sort of incentive scheme or reward for the employees who perform their duties without any incidences of accidents.

BS Kalsi

Member since Aug 2011

From India, Mumbai
Hi. Laxmi, Want to add some more to Mr. Mahesh & Harsh. You need to create an awareness for using helmets among all employees. Even you can show some accident videos which will create more awareness/seriousness. All these are available on the net. Rgds. Sripati
Mahesh & Harsh

From India, Mumbai
I dont know if this will work for you, but a suggestion is that, you know where your towers are, may be set up satellite offices, where your technicians can report to on a daily basis, so that they dont need to travel long distances and can reach to the designated place faster. Also the suggestions given by others are rather good ones. You should try to implement some training and also enforce new policies with regards to commutation.
From India, Hyderabad
Dear lakshmi,
We have managed Towers with technicians , security staff for a various requirements.May if you need our assistance with reasonable cost for orientation of road safety, safety work practices. positive Road usage, Preventive methods and emergency methods during the accidents, communicatiin, please write to us . or call 9789824165. We have registered with MSME, Govt of India, Chennai.
All the best.
V. Rangarajan. (Chennai)

From India, Pune

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