Monday, July 22, 2024

Principles for building world-class safety culture — Taking the Hire Road

This week on Taking the Hire Road, host Jeremy Reymer, founder and CEO of DriverReach, sat down with Brian Fielkow, executive vice president of risk resources at Acrisure, to discuss safety as a business strategy.

Fielkow previously was the president and CEO of Jetco Delivery and is the author of a number of books, including “Driving to Perfection: Achieving Business Excellence by Creating a Vibrant Culture.”

Focusing on safety is an excellent fundamental business strategy and competitive advantage as it creates an overall better employee and customer experience, according to Fielkow.

“Having a safety department that is somehow separate from the rest of the company doesn’t make sense. Safety needs to be part of the enterprises — holistic and woven in,” he said. 

Fielkow said a proper safety culture starts with hiring the right people. “It’s really easy to hire drivers and employees, but it’s really hard to hire the right drivers and employees.” 

Part of taking the correct safety and compliance measures includes proper insurance, he said.

Acrisure is the fourth-largest insurance broker in the country, providing a “high-tech, human approach” to insurance for a variety of industries, including trucking.

The cost of insurance continues to rise and many companies claim they don’t have the capital to take advantage of anything but the bare minimum. Fielkow sees this as the wrong way to approach it.

“Insurance is like a report card — it’s a reflection of how well a company is managing risk and losses,” he said. 

While insurance is not cheap, Fielkow believes every company in the industry has a choice when it comes to cutting costs and spending more and that this decision can directly influence safety results.

“There are a range of things that are in your control. You can become more profitable and place yourself at the top and create a higher competitive advantage for yourself, but you have to make a decision to understand what’s driving your losses and how you’re going to control it. To me, it’s about operational excellence. Do you really want to drive safe results? Safe results will directly impact your insurance costs.”

Safety is foundational. There is a direct correlation between being one of the best fleets to drive for and safety. Jetco, a company directly affected by the positive leadership and influence of Fielkow, was recently listed as one of 20 Best Fleets to Drive For in 2023, for the second time in three years. 

“The most productive fleets are the safest. If you put safety first in a genuine and organic way, your employees will know they come first and that they are cared for. They will know that nothing is more important than getting them home to their families,” Fielkow said.

To learn more about Acrisure and what the company has to offer, visit its website.

Click for more FreightWaves content by Britni Chisenall.

More from Taking the Hire Road:

Transparent recruiting leads to better hires

Finding drivers getting easier; making hires harder

Women making history: A talk with Amy Boerger

The post Principles for building world-class safety culture — Taking the Hire Road appeared first on FreightWaves.

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