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Canadian Nursery Landscape Association Driver Training

Vehicle-related claims represent significant losses to Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) members. A vast majority of these are preventable, representing a tremendous opportunity to improve business results and reduce vehicle-related injuries and deaths.

Costs of vehicle-related losses are considerably higher than the direct, or insurable, costs. Direct costs typically include, but are not limited to: vehicle, property, or cargo damages; injuries; emergency services or medical costs; revenue losses; insurance deductibles/surcharges; towing costs and associated liabilities; or Workers’ Compensation Board expenses. Indirect costs resulting from the same vehicle loss are difficult to quantify, but can often include: productivity loss of the vehicle(s); costs incurred preparing for third party litigation; rehabilitation expenses or incurred work absences; overtime to cover reduction in labour force; hiring replacement workers; investigative and reporting costs; retraining costs; customer satisfaction/rework; repaired vehicle not covered due to deductible issues; reputation damages; loss of customers; and associated sales to competitors through business interruption.

Ontario Accident Statistics

Fatality - $13,600,000
Minor Injury - $48,000
Major Injury - $280,000
Minimal Injury - $18,000

The average cost of a collision in Ontario in 2004 was $77,000. Through division of all forms of vehicular collision, the average costs can be broken down as follows:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic elements responsible for most accidents are:

  • Human 90%
  • Vehicle 5%
  • Environmental 5%

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports that:

  • Rear end collisions are the most common highway collision type.
  • Most collisions occur during good weather conditions.
  • Most collisions occur near home.
  • Driver skill level was responsible for 10% of accidents.

Driver attitude accounted for 90% of causation contributors.
These statistics clearly demonstrate that by addressing the human causation factors, there is a significant opportunity to reduce the likelihood of vehicle losses and costs. The best way to accomplish this is with structured training programs. Training is one of the most effective methods to inform or re-enforce safe driving practices, create awareness of consequences, and influence correct driving decisions.

Marsh's Driver Improvement System

Training is proven to reduce accident frequency. Time restraints and the nature of landscaping and snow removal businesses, mean that traditional, in-class training is not always practical. To combat this, Marsh Risk Consulting (MRC) in cooperation with Carriers Edge, has an existing online training platform—Marsh’s Driver Improvement System (MDIS).

MDIS is a comprehensive, effective, online training system providing flexible reporting, simple administration, and program management at both the association and member level. Courses available through the existing Carriers Edge library include defensive driving, practical vehicle inspection, and winter driving.
Courses are presented visually with a “show me, tell me, let me try it, and test me” approach. Tests administered upon course completion ensure that the driver comprehends all course material with results being tracked to help identify any gaps or areas where drivers require extra attention.

Reporting software provides the association or member the ability to monitor what courses have been taken and associated results. Basic reporting provides information on who has started, worked on, completed, passed, or failed any course, in any time period. Detailed reporting provides a closer inspection of a drivers’ course test and identifies the time spent, those areas of strength and where further attention may be warranted. Gap analysis reports enables the association or member firm to have an understanding of the specific subject areas that cause the most problems for drivers. Numerous driver-training courses may periodically need to be taken with compliance management reports generated to keep track of expired certificates, provide notification of renewal, and provide details of the overall status by location, manager, and/or individual.

In addition to driver training courses, general safety courses are also available such as “Lifting and Ladder Safety.”

Marsh Risk Consulting

Marsh Risk Consulting (MRC) is the Professional Risk Services division of Marsh Canada Limited and a practice committed to client success through effective risk management and risk control. Their multi-disciplinary approach provides the expertise, solutions, and services required to deliver value to clients through thought leadership, risk understanding, and the impacts on overall organizational strategies.

Collision Cost Calcuations

The National Safety Council reported that in 2005 the average economic cost for a vehicular collision incurring property damage alone was $7,500 while the average cost of a vehicular collision incurring personal injury alone was $19,600.

To contextualize the upfront costs of providing online training for all employees, if a 50 driver firm were to purchase packages for all their drivers at a rate of $49 per package, the total cost would be $2,450. This initial cost to the company would be negated considering that if a singular $7,500 collision is prevented, this cost is paid for three times over. Such commitment will also demonstrate to all interested stakeholders the proactive risk management initiatives being undertaken.
Driver training is proven to reduce the frequency of collisions by up to 20%. If a Landscape Ontario member organization experiences five property damage collisions and two injury collisions in a 1-year period, driver training therein could see a reduction in losses and associated costs of up to $15,000.

Landscape Ontario’s online driver training program has now been launched. The “Summer Package” consisting of two modules including:

  • Safe Driving
  • Lifting and Ladder Safety

The “Winter Package” consists of two modules including:

  • Winter Driving
  • Snow and Ice Risk Control

Courses will be available for members through the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association website at a price of $49 per package. Landscape Ontario members within the HortProtect© insurance program will receive a discounted price of $39 per package. Once all drivers have successfully completed the courses, a discretionary premium discount may be available under the HortProtect insurance program.