TowSafe Tip

The Importance of Documentation

Written by Bill Giorgis of Mike’s Wrecker Service

After the recent death of an employee at the hands of a drunk driver, our lives and company have been torn apart. Our driver was outside of his truck and was struck and killed as a pedestrian by a driver two times over the legal limit for drunk driving.

We have had to deal with family, media, police investigation, insurance carriers, DOT and OSHA investigations of the incident.

One of the most important things we have learned from this process is the importance of documentation and record keeping.

We are a mid-size company and do not have a full-time person for human resources or safety. Everyone who we have dealt with in this process wants to see the employee file, training file, disciplinary file and truck file.

I cannot stress enough the need for proper documentation and record keeping. Keeping up on OSHA, employee, DOT and training files has been critical. The basic rule is that “if it isn’t documented in the file, it doesn’t exist.”

If you don’t have files for your employees, start building them now. Make sure you have drug testing files separate from the others and secured. If you have a safety program, make sure you are properly documenting the meetings and training. If you don’t have a safety program start one NOW, and document the meetings.

At the end of the day it’s all about whats is in your files and how you have it documented.

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