Although developing a plan for potential disasters is not a particularly cheery subject, construction fleet managers should make sure they have the right tools in place to be prepared for the unexpected.
One of the best resources available for fleets to improve their disaster preparedness is GPS tracking technology. In the event of an emergency, the ability to pinpoint employees’ exact locations is invaluable to ensure their safety. During a disaster when employees may be in need of immediate assistance, using a GPS tracking system will ensure help arrives as quickly as possible to prevent injuries and fatalities.
1. Proactively Evacuate the Area
If there is warning that a disaster will occur, the construction fleet manager should take action to ensure all field employees are notified in time so they can make it to a safe location. If a severe weather alert is issued where the construction fleet operates, fleet managers can use a GPS tracking system to proactively evacuate the area. A GPS tracking system’s mapping will allow fleet managers to determine all drivers who are near enough to the severe weather or natural disaster location to be in danger and send them an alert to evacuate immediately. By selecting the group or groups of drivers that are in the danger zone, one message can be sent to notify all drivers in these groups instantly.
2. Dispatch Emergency Response Faster
What happens when field employees are unable to evacuate and find themselves in harm’s way? Fleet managers can access the vehicle’s exact location through the GPS tracking system and provide the coordinates to the county’s emergency response team to ensure they arrive as quickly as possible. If an employee is seriously injured, faster emergency response can be the difference between life and death.
3. Identify First Responders
During a high magnitude disaster, it may take emergency response longer than usual to reach an injured field employee. If there are trained first responders on the team, fleet managers can use their GPS tracking system to identify the closest vehicle to the injured employee and identify the closest vehicle with a trained first responder. Construction businesses can work with their GPS tracking provider to create selectable vehicle icons on real-time mapping to distinguish their first responders, which allows dispatchers to easily identify which first responder is nearest to the driver in need of assistance.
4. Provide Drivers with a Panic Button
If a disaster hits and a driver is stranded in an unsafe situation without access to his vehicle cab or cell phone or truck, how can he let management know he needs assistance? Some GPS tracking systems provide a panic button for employees who are caught in an unsafe situation without a way to call for help. The panic button can be kept on the driver’s person to notify management that the driver needs assistance. Fleet managers can use the GPS tracking system to locate their vehicle’s location and dispatch help right away.
There are many ways that GPS tracking systems will benefit a construction business, but increasing disaster preparedness takes having a system beyond just “nice to have” to a necessity for a fleet’s safety operations. Using a GPS tracking system to proactively and reactively take control when dangerous situations occur will greatly increase driver safety.