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Safety & Accident

Terminix Makes Safety a Core Value

October 2017, Work Truck - Feature

by Shelley Ernst - Also by this author

Photo courtesy of Terminix.
Photo courtesy of Terminix.

Pest control company Terminix has a fleet of 9,500 vehicles that collectively log nearly 250 million miles per year. Traversing that many miles can create risks for an accident — and stewardship for the materials used in pest control can make the stakes even higher.

So, it’s no surprise the company takes safety seriously.

Craig Torrance, vice president of environmental health and safety (EHS) and service, Terminix, said it takes it so seriously it’s a core value, not just a priority.

“Priorities change, but a value as important as employee safety can never come off the table,” he said. “Terminix recognizes that a world-class company must have a world-class safety program. The safety culture of a mobile fleet has proved vital to the operational success of high-performing, efficient, and profitable companies. We expect the same.”

Four Steps for Safety Success

Terminix employs a four-part comprehensive safety program that ensures both drivers and vehicles operate safely on roadways. This consists of:

  • Pre-screening: As part of the company’s new-hire process, it pre-screens drivers to ensure their driving records meet the company’s standards. 
  • Training: Once hired, Terminix drivers participate in a number of safe-driving training programs that include skill-based training and driving observation and feedback. “We want to set a standard with our drivers that they are professional drivers, and we want to give them the tools to meet that expectation,” Torrance said. 
  • Reviews: Terminix also conducts periodic reviews of drivers to ensure they are driving safely and professionally. Reviews include evaluating telematics data and performing annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) checks.  
  • Maintenance: The company’s vehicle maintenance program is also considered an important aspect of the safety program. The Terminix Fleet Department monitors all vehicles and ensures they are brought in for regular preventive maintenance. 

“All of these aspects ensure we have the best drivers operating safe and efficient vehicles that help ensure customer service commitments are met,” Torrance said.

The company also monitors collisions closely, categorizing them as preventable and non-preventable.

“We, perhaps, over-scrutinize ourselves. But again, we want to ensure we have the best drivers because we demand our drivers operate professionally,” Torrance said. “To measure our driving performance, we build metrics around collisions per 100 vehicles and per million miles.”

Rewarding Safe Drivers

Recently, Terminix added one more element to its safety program: rewarding drivers for excellent driving records. Torrance noted that Terminix is always looking for opportunities to improve the ways the company acknowledges and rewards safe drivers. And, this past February, it proved just that.

At its Leadership Summit, Terminix launched a safety recognition program designed to engage safety at the field level. As part of that program, Terminix awarded a brand-new Ford F-150 to an associate who had delivered more than 40 years of safe driving with the company.

“We wanted to do something to show recognition for those that have served the company for so long, and this was an amazing moment for everyone in attendance,” Torrance said. “The award winner shared some inspirational words about how he approaches his job, his driving, the passion he has for the company and, most importantly, the love for his family by ensuring he comes home to them every night, just as he left them that morning.”

Following the event and the driver’s meaningful words, Terminix wanted to build on the momentum of his message and continue in the spirit of reward and recognition. So, the company decided to hold a contest in the second quarter where it would award another Ford F-150 to a field associate. “Our goal was not only to recognize a superior performer but also engage all our associates,” Torrance said. “We wanted to test their knowledge of our safety programs along with challenging them to perform as professional drivers. In turn, we would reward them for participating and being collision-free during that time period.”

Approximately 7,500 field associates who operate company vehicles could participate. To be eligible to win, employees had to be collision-free and answer five questions related to safe driving every month during the three months of the contest.

The names of drivers who met those guidelines were entered into a drawing. This past July, the company announced the winner, and the executive leadership team traveled to the winner’s branch to recognize his efforts and deliver his brand-new Ford F-150.

“Being a company that relies on vehicles to meet and service our customers on a daily basis, we feel it is appropriate to reward them with something as significant as a pickup truck,” Torrance said. “There’s always a positive result when you recognize your hard-working, company-focused, and safe employees.” 

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