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Safety First: Heroes at the Helm

October 15, 2012

3 Min Read
Safety First: Heroes at the Helm

One of the most important ways to motivate your drivers is by recognizing and rewarding those whose productivity and safety records exceed expectations. The Environmental Industry Associations’ (EIA) Driver of the Year (DOTY) program does exactly that for the best drivers in the U.S. solid waste and recycling industry. EIA is excited about several changes to the program, and we encourage you to nominate several of your drivers for these prestigious awards.

Each year, EIA honors drivers in multiple categories, recognizing the tremendous diversity in the industry with regard to type of route, size of the company, and whether the driver works for a company or a municipal sanitation department. All DOTY nominees receive a gift package and a certificate of appreciation. Finalists receive a personalized plaque. The winner in each category is honored in person at the WasteExpo Inspirational Awards Breakfast and receives a commemorative gift and $1,000 cash prize. The program is underwritten by AmWINS and Berkley Environmental, EIA’s insurance partners.

We have made several important changes to the DOTY program for 2013, which should make it easier for companies and local governments to nominate drivers, and encourage more companies to participate in the program. First, we have moved the nomination form online. Managers and supervisors now will be able to pay online, complete the nomination form online, submit the nomination via the Internet and will receive an email confirmation. Supplemental information requested for finalists also can be submitted online, facilitating the transfer of documents to the EIA Safety Committee, which reviews the finalists’ nominations.

Second, we have expanded the DOTY program from seven to nine drivers, to encourage more small, medium and regional companies to participate. For 2013, the categories will be: small company (1-50 trucks), medium company (51-250 trucks), regional company residential, regional company commercial, regional company industrial (regional companies have 251-2,000 trucks), large company commercial, large company industrial, large company residential (large companies have more than 2,000 trucks) and public sector. While the DOTY program has grown substantially in recent years with more than 600 nominees in 2012, we hope these revisions to the program will encourage more small, medium and regional companies to participate.

One of the high points of WasteExpo is watching the DOTY winners walk across the stage to receive their awards. It is truly inspirational to see these drivers and listen to their short acceptance speeches. But the benefits of the program extend to every company and local government that participates. If a company nominates one of its drivers, you can be sure that driver is going to drive extra carefully while his nomination is being considered. The other drivers, perhaps a little jealous that they were not nominated, may drive more carefully as well. A local governmental official that has participated in the DOTY program has told me that his one nomination several years ago probably reduced their accident rate by 15 percent the following year.

The nominations deadline for the 2013 DOTY program is November 30. Winners will be announced in early March 2013, and awards will be given at WasteExpo in New Orleans, on May 21. This is a terrific program that recognizes the best drivers in the industry, and it can help your company and local government reduce its accidents and claims. We encourage you to nominate your best drivers.

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