You have an employee who drives a vehicle in which a CDL is required. A surprise Department of Transportation check finds he doesn’t have one.

You later learn that the employee was boasting on social media, proud and laughing that he had gone for years without a CDL and didn’t plan to get one.

This scenario may seem far-fetched, but it did play out recently on a social media page for hydroexcavation professionals. The worker knew he was breaking the law. He could have seriously injured or even killed someone, but he didn’t think about that and didn’t care.

Related: How To Be a Great Employer

Rather quickly, the driver was kicked out of the social media group and his post was deleted — after numerous harsh comments from industry professionals.

As a company owner, how can you make sure this doesn’t happen with one of your drivers? Here are some simple steps:

Conduct yearly checks on employees. If you own a fleet of vehicles that require a CDL or any special licenses, it’s your responsibility to make sure your employees are properly certified. Check once a year to make sure they are up to date. If they aren’t, then tell them. Maybe they forgot to renew and would appreciate the reminder.

Related: Work Not for the Weary

Pay for those certifications. Does your company pay for drivers to get their certifications? A 2016 study from the staffing firm Robert Half revealed that 33 percent of employers paid for all their employees’ professional certification costs, while 39 percent paid for at least some of the expenses. Just 29 percent provided no assistance.

By helping with the cost, you’ll know your employees are certified and you could benefit in other ways, too. For example, your people would see that you care about them and their safety and want to stick with your company.

LOOKING AT SAFETY

We’ve always taken safety seriously in Dig Different and this issue is no different. The theme of utility locating is an important piece of the safety puzzle.

Related: Do You Have a Risk Management Plan?

You need to know where utilities are before you start digging. Whether you call a basic digging hotline or go straight to a private locating firm, it’s something that must be taken seriously.

Both contractors featured in this issue know the importance of utility locates. AEI Subsurface, of Warren, Rhode Island, prides itself as a utility locator in the Northeast U.S. and uses many tools to get that job done safely.

B&T Drainage of Marshall, Illinois, focuses on directional drilling and other earth-moving and underground utility operations. With underground fiber optic lines proliferating, owners John, Scott and Steve Boyer know what would happen if they didn’t locate before digging. The company has even invested in vacuum excavators to help expose utilities before using directional drills.

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LET’S HEAR FROM YOU

Does your company have a safety program in place? I’d like to hear about it. You can email me at editor@digdifferent.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Enjoy this issue!


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