You might be close to entering “fleet safety geek” territory if you…
- Like to discuss safety
- Enjoy going into safety topics in extreme depth
- Find yourself going on a safety rant at least once a week
We had a blast interviewing Fleet Safety Geeks Bob Mossing and Phil Moser. The two have been in safety in a number of roles. Phil was a former police officer who reconstructed crash scenes and is now in corporate safety training. Bob has managed fleets for 23 years and is passionate about fleet safety and policy.
While Phil was training some of Bob’s drivers, the two even shared a frightening driving training incident that brought them closer together. Years later they kept seeing each other at fleet related trade shows and discussing safety. Enough geeking out on safety topics, and the podcast was born.
Some of the key things we learned from the Fleet Safety Geeks in episode 21:
Fleet Driver Safety Program Best Practices
At Bob’s company, STERIS, fleet safety is a throughline, starting from new hire orientation and behind the wheel training. One resource he uses is a Lexus “Driving Disrupted” video that provides a thought provoking demo of what happens when people choose to engage with their phones while driving.
Safety training at STERIS is an ongoing process, with training and safety messaging year round, including monthly training videos from his safety provider, regular safety messaging sent every other week, and a safe driving work week every quarter.
And with road fatalities being at an all time high, safety topics should be covered more at industry events. Phil describes going to an event recently where safety was not on the agenda whatsoever (and “Angry Phil” came out!).
Fleet Driver Responsibility
No matter what a driver was hired to do, their #1 job when they’re behind the wheel is to drive–and get home safely. “You could be the best employee your company has ever hired, you could be a great family person…” Phil says, “but if you lose your life in a car wreck, it all ends.”
In his days reconstructing crashes, Phil discovered that sometimes only a half a second or a quarter second is the difference between life and death.
Getting Buy-in for Safety
Safety requires stakeholders across an organization, and it can feel like an uphill battle when the safety culture is new or developing. If a fleet or safety manager is working in an environment where safety isn’t a priority or there is no safety culture, they can try aligning with the HR, Legal, and Risk departments, as the C-suite is more likely to take these departments’ advice seriously.
At the grassroots level, drivers should be encouraged to come to management with safety concerns, and driver safety programs should be framed in a positive–not punitive–light. Management should be prepared for pushback but also for gratitude (when employees realize that you actually care first and foremost about their wellbeing). In fact, Phil describes holding on to driver thank you letters from employees as a keepsake.
Top Dangers on the Road Next Year and Beyond
Bob and Phil point out that distracted driving, such as texting and driving, is not going anywhere and will most likely get worse. They also spoke in depth about the danger of legalized marijuana use across the United States when it comes to fleets. They encourage companies to have a strict and clear policy around distractions and impaired driving.
Every “Good Cop” Has a Little “Bad Cop” in Them and Vice Versa
You’ll just have to listen to the episode for that one. Check out the full episode or read the full transcript below.
Other ways to stay up to date with the Fleet Safety Geeks:
Bob Mossing: Welcome to Fleet Safety Geeks. I’m Bob.
Phil Moser: I’m Phil, and we welcome you to our podcast.
Bob Mossing: Welcome back to another episode of Fleet Safety Geeks. I am here with Phil Moser and we have special guest, Bethany Brownholtz from TRUCE Software. Bethany, how are you?
Bethany Brownholtz: I’m doing great. Thanks so much for having me.
Bob Mossing: Yeah, it’s great to have you on. You’re from TRUCE Software and you’ve been listening to our podcast. It seems like you’ve enjoyed what you’re hearing, and you—
Bethany Brownholtz: I’m a bit of a fan girl, yes.
Bob Mossing: Oh, that’s awesome. We love it. You had reached out to us saying that you wanted to interview us, so we’re actually doing a podcast of you interviewing us, and we’re pretty excited about that.
Bethany Brownholtz: I’m so pumped. Thanks for being willing.
Bob Mossing: For sure. Before we go, so everybody and our listeners and watchers know who you are, can you introduce your company and yourself?
Bethany Brownholtz: Sure. I’m Bethany. I’m a marketing campaign manager for TRUCE Software, and we specialize in mobile device distraction in the workplace. So whatever’s around a device ends up determining what’s on the device.
We use context sensing technology to reduce employee risk and improve productivity. We’re serving up the right applications to the right user at the right time. So that means anywhere where there’s a risky work environment—on the road, for example, or construction site or warehouse—we’re helping to reduce those digital distractions.
Bob Mossing: That sounds great. Is it an app on a phone or is it on any electronic device, or how does that work?
Bethany Brownholtz: It’s any mobile device, so tablet or phone, and it’s installed on the devices.
Bob Mossing: Okay. Phil, we’ve had NoCell on, and it seems like it’s maybe a similar thing there, but it’s neat how you’re using it, Bethany, with construction sites, maybe trucking companies and other things that seems like it would be really useful.
Bethany Brownholtz: In any kind of high-risk working environment, it can apply. We have geofencing or time of day, different contextual factors that also are combined with the company policy to then enforce that policy in different environments. It’s dynamic and can change across the workday depending on what the user is doing, where they are, what’s going on around them.
Bob Mossing: Right. That’s great, Phil and I, we like to talk about changing driver behavior following policy. Basically we say, “Put your phone down and don’t be an idiot,” but we know that technology’s going to come into play and assist with some of this and it’s probably necessary.
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah.
Bob Mossing: Any manufacturer of a vehicle should have something in there that doesn’t allow a phone to be used. Phones should be automatic to not be used, but if we have to put this app or the software on, I think that that’s a very valuable tool, so that’s great.
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah, totally.
Bob Mossing: You have any thoughts on that, Phil? I don’t want to do all the talking here.
Phil Moser: Oh no, that’s fine. I like the idea that it’s addressing all workplaces. Bethany, I was really glad to hear you say about the driving workplace, right?
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah.
Phil Moser: A lot of times people don’t realize the people that we are doing this for are the people who have to drive as part of their job, and that is their workplace, and it is the most dangerous workplace in the country. It truly is. It’s often forgotten that that is a workplace and the risks involved with that.
People who have really risky jobs, they probably have more of a risk driving to their workplace than they do when they’re at work because the safeguards are put in place there, but what about when they’re driving? So I’m glad to hear that you’re addressing all workplaces, including driving.
Bethany Brownholtz: Thanks.
Bob Mossing: Now that we know who you are and who TRUCE is, I think that’s great. You’re welcome to move on to whatever you want, if you have any questions for us.
Bethany Brownholtz (4:24): Yes. You’ve got to clear this up for me. What’s the difference between a fleet safety nerd and a fleet safety geek?
Bob Mossing: I think a fleet safety nerd has a pocket protector. Do we still talk about pocket protectors? I don’t know. But no, fleet safety geeks are just people who geek out talking about stuff they really enjoy talking about.
Bethany Brownholtz (4:54): With that in mind, how did you both get into safety, and what about safety stuck for you?
Bob Mossing: Phil, you start there. You really introduced it to me, and I’m a fanboy of you, Phil.
Phil Moser: I was a police officer, and my training that I received on the police department was in reconstructing car crashes. I was the guy that got called out for any of the more severe crashes. If it was a fatal or what might become fatal, I got called, and it didn’t take long for me to understand the importance of this. Then I got involved in doing corporate safety training for different organizations, and that’s how I met Bob.
Bob Mossing: I’ve been managing fleets for 23 years now, and safety has always been an important part of fleet management. I started with Safelite in Columbus, and we had a fleet safety committee. I don’t know if that’s exactly what it was called, but what we did is we would write safety policy partnering with the risk department, and we’d travel to the field. We’d involve a local market. We’d spend three days with them; they’d help write policy. We’d go over things, so it was always a big part of what we did. Then I went into government fleet, and I managed a police fleet, so I got to see a lot of the police things, and I got to see a lot of the after effects of the accidents.
I wasn’t out there reconstructing, and I wasn’t an officer, but I did see a lot of it come through either at impound or going out with some of the sheriff deputies. Then, when I went to STERIS where I’m at now, Phil was working with us through the company he was providing services for, and I was just blown away with the training and the level of what Phil would go over.
I just had to sit in on a class, I had to be in the vehicle when they were doing the driving. A funny story, I was wearing my dress shoes and not a technician, but I had all the technicians in the van that we were in and he would say, “Go straight down and accelerate as fast as you can, and don’t break until I tell you.”
So I went and I’m accelerating, and he’s like, “Okay, stop,” and I plow right through the cones. Everybody’s in the car like, “Whoa, this fleet manager can’t even stop when he is supposed to.” My foot, my dress shoe got stuck sliding from the gas pedal over to the brake. I didn’t lift it up and put it on the brake pedal. I was sliding it over and the lip of the dress shoe got stuck underneath the brake pedal and I couldn’t lift it up.
Bethany Brownholtz: Oh, my God.
Bob Mossing: If nothing else, it was a good thing to talk about and how to lift your foot off a pedal and back onto a pedal and just do that, so—
Bethany Brownholtz: Proper shoes.
Bob Mossing: Yeah.
Phil Moser: I’ll say, Bethany, that after that training class, I went back to work and asked for a raise.
Bethany Brownholtz (8:19): That’s so cool. I was going to ask how you guys met, so that’s a fun story. Between that and starting the podcast, what made you decide to start a podcast and more specifically, a podcast about fleet safety?
Phil Moser: I can talk about it if you want, Bob.
Bob Mossing: Yeah, go for it.
Phil Moser: Bob and I would see each other at various trade shows, fleet and safety trade shows. We were sitting having a beer—we weren’t driving—and we started talking, and Bob said, “Whenever we talk, we always start talking about safety.” I said, “Can’t help it, Bob, I’m a safety geek.” Then we’re talking and Bob made some comment like, “Well, I’ve been wanting to do a podcast. We should do a podcast. We’ll call it the Safety Geeks.” Then how did you come up with the Fleet Safety Geeks? Bob, I think you…
Bob Mossing: When you said you were a safety geek, I’m like, “What a great name for a podcast.” So I went out there and tried to find it. Well, I said, “We should start a podcast.” You’re like, okay, probably not thinking it would ever happen.
Bethany Brownholtz: That’s true. A lot of people throw that around.
Bob Mossing: Right. I went out there to try and see if Safety Geeks was available. It was already taken, but we’re in Fleet, so it just became Fleet Safety Geeks. Then I follow up with Phil and he is like, “Oh, so we’re doing this?”
Bethany Brownholtz (9:47): And here you are, so many episodes later, which is a good segue. I don’t know if you can pick favorites, but I’m curious if you have a favorite episode or two and why?
Bob Mossing: Ah, man. Any safety geek talking about safety, all of them would be our favorites. Let’s talk about the ones that have performed the best.
Bethany Brownholtz: Okay.
Bob Mossing: “Angry Phil.” That is the one that Phil got on, and he was just fed up. Fatalities are increasing. We can’t seem to slow this down. People are still doing the wrong things. Angry Phil came on and he was just like, “We’ve got to change what we do. This country is not strict enough as far as other countries.” That is probably the most downloaded episode that we’ve had. So that seems to be a fan favorite.
For me, I really liked—just because I really am about policy, and I really think that helping people learn how to develop a fleet safety policy program—the safety policy series was a lot of fun. We had a lot of special guests on. We had a lot of people that really contributed to that, so that was a fun series for me. But Phil, how about you? Angry Phil, was that your favorite?
Phil Moser: Angry Phil was my favorite, and the reason for it was—
Bethany Brownholtz: I need to get you on a rant today.
Phil Moser: Yeah. Well, it wouldn’t take much, Bethany. It would not take much.
Bethany Brownholtz: I know, you’re from Philly.
Phil Moser: Yeah, that’s right. That’s my Philadelphia attitude, or as they say in Philly, attitude. What struck me was that there were different trade shows that were coming up and fleet trade shows and safety wasn’t on any of the agendas. It was all about the electric vehicles and things like that, and I went, “Are you kidding me? We are at the highest fatalities rates that we’ve seen in 19 years, and it’s not even part of the agenda.” It wasn’t even a discussion point. I got angry about that, and it came through in the podcast.
Listen, we’re far too accepting, in my opinion, of fatalities. There are other countries that do a far better job than what we do. Impairment, distraction, all these things, they should be a stigma in our society. I know we’re going to talk about distraction because, but it’s so rampant and it’s ridiculous. So it wouldn’t take much, Bethany, to get me to be Angry Phil again—
Bethany Brownholtz: Okay, just wait.
Phil Moser: …That was my favorite one because I think that we were—not that we’re not honest. We’re pretty blunt in this podcast. Let’s just say I was a little bit more blunt that day.
Bethany Brownholtz (12:50): Along those same lines, what’s something that surprised you or that you’ve learned in the process of developing the podcast?
Bob Mossing: We’ve learned how to be geekier. I’ve never done a podcast before. We started out with an audio podcast. I had never edited one. I’m not a producer. Phil and I, we’re not podcasters. We’re not radio people. We’re not public speakers, even though Phil, I think, would do a great job public speaking, but we just like to chat about safety.
Then we realized, “Oh, we also have to put this out there, so people can listen to it,” so I’ve learned how to be geekier. I’ve always been kind of geeky with stuff like that, but we went from audio using … My son was 13 at the time when we started this and he’s like, “Oh, you should use Discord. That’s the platform that gamers use to chat with each other.”
But the nice thing about Discord is it did have a really good recording rate, it was like CD quality audio recording rate. Then I edited it with Audacity, which was a free editing software for audio, but then everybody’s doing video podcasts as well and putting it out there. I didn’t want to just an audio version on YouTube, so I was like, “Well, let’s figure out a way to do a video.” So now I’ve got to figure out how to do editing of video as well. If anything else, the techie stuff for me is really what I’ve learned from this.
Phil obviously is very knowledgeable about all things safety, so hopefully, a lot of our listeners, our watchers are picking up a lot of good tips. Phil, how about you?
Phil Moser: I was surprised at the number of countries where it’s listened to. That struck me as I didn’t expect that. But I’m glad to see that some people are tuning in, and we’re getting some good positive feedback from it. It’s going to sound totally geeky, but—
Bethany Brownholtz: Go to town.
Phil Moser: If we say one thing in one podcast that one person shares with a driver or they learn from for themselves that saves one crash, it’s worth all the effort.
Bethany Brownholtz: Totally.
Phil Moser: I hate crashes. We both hate crashes because they ruin lives. So that’s the whole thing, but it just surprised me that we’re in Europe, and I think the Middle East. We’re seeing people in Africa and it’s just …
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah, there’s a huge need for what you guys are doing, so thank you.
Phil Moser: Yeah, safe driving is safe driving. I don’t care where you are, right?
Bethany Brownholtz: Right. Exactly.
Bob Mossing: Yeah, that’s right.
Bethany Brownholtz (15:46): Speaking of crashes, in a couple of episodes you say, “Let them come to a crash site and see what it’s like and have to call the families, have to knock on the window.” It sounds like you’ve had to do that. Can you talk a little bit about that experience and how it’s changed you?
Phil Moser: Yeah. With my background, I always say if people would go to a crash scene and see it and smell it and hear it, they would change the way they drive. People have said, “So you had to go to the scenes and where there were people who were dead?” Yeah, that’s why I was there and all the autopsies and things like that.
When I was on the scene, that was like I had a job to do—any cop would tell you this. But the roughest part was then dealing with the families, what I called the living room time, because when you do a full-blown reconstruction, you talk to the family members and then you do what are called pre-trip events. You find out what was going on with the person 24 hours, 48 hours, even 72 hours prior to the crash.
Was there something happening in their lives that may have been a distraction? Were they having health issues? All of that. You get to know the family members, and what I really say is that when I would have to go up and talk to the families, I knew that no matter what I said, it was not going to help them. It wasn’t going to make it any better.
People learn how to cope with it, losing a loved one like that, but they never get over it. The thing of it is, that’s happening 12 times every hour, and it’s just in the U.S. 12 times every hour, families are having to deal with that. The families and the loved ones and the co-workers and things like that, so people would change the way they drive if they saw the results. There are consequences to bad decisions and bad driving.
Bethany Brownholtz (18:08): Piggybacking on that, what do you think is the top danger to fleet drivers today on the road?
Phil Moser: Pretty easy, distraction.
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah.
Phil Moser: People get to where they’re going, and they don’t know how they got there. People are on their phones. You pull up to an intersection, you see people with their phones up, or they have the things stuck in their ear, and they’re talking, and they’re certainly not paying attention to driving.
The problem is, during the pandemic, the only lifeline people had to the outside world was their electronics, and they’re addicting. They are absolutely addicting. People have heard me say this time and again on this podcast, people can’t go to the bathroom without their damn phone. It’s ridiculous, and they’ve not put the phones down now that they’re behind the wheel.
There are other distractions, obviously, eating. I had a guy pull up behind me the other day when I was driving into work. He had some kind of a giant sandwich in foil wrap, he was munching on. I’m thinking, “Don’t hit me, dude.”
Bethany Brownholtz: No cheesesteak is worth it.
Bob Mossing: I was going to say it’s a Philly cheesesteak.
Phil Moser: How often do you see that in comparison to how many times you see people using their electronics when driving?
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah, it’s culturally accepted.
Phil Moser: It is culturally accepted, and that, Bethany, is why Angry Phil came out was because it should not be culturally accepted. Then the other issue I have is impairment. Impairment, especially with legalized marijuana use. I have a real concern about how that’s all going to play out. It’s going to get bad. It’s going to get really bad. That’s my concern.
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah.
Bob Mossing: Yeah.
Bethany Brownholtz (20:06): With that in mind, what advice would you give to someone entering the industry as a driver or a safety manager?
Phil Moser: Now Bob, you handle safety. What do you tell your drivers? I have my ideas, but—
Bob Mossing: Our ideas are probably very similar. Any new driver that comes to our company, we go through a new hire orientation. A big portion of that is centered around safety, what to do behind the wheel, what the implications are going to be if you can’t follow our policy. We’ll tell them, “That could include death.” We don’t want that to happen to anybody who works for our company.
We share a really good video, made by Lexus, of all videos that we have found. We used to show a video of this girl getting on her phone, and she’s checking something out. Then she gets into an accident and rolls over, and blood splatters on the windshield. It’s sobering, but it’s just too much of a bummer. We found this one by Lexus where it whites out the glass.
For 4.6 seconds, which they say is the average time that someone will spend looking at a phone to check a text or a message, it makes their windows unable to see out all of the glass. While they’re driving, and they don’t know what’s going to happen, and they’re going through a road course and trying to do some stuff, they just black out the windows for 4.6 seconds. Of course, they’re all over the road. They’re hitting things, they’re running over these fake people, bicyclists, whatever, and it’s a really good video.
I wish I could share it here, but we tell our drivers that they need to be safe on the road, that their number one job when they’re behind the wheel is to drive, even if they were hired to do something else.
Bethany Brownholtz (22:14): How do you keep up with the ongoing training? When they arrive, you stress it really hard, then sometimes things fade with time, and people get complacent. How do you keep it fresh for them?
Bob Mossing: We do a lot of training. We talk about it in new hire orientation. We do the new hire training behind the wheel and classroom, and then we keep that going with monthly training videos through our safety provider. We have a safety blast that goes out every other week. Health and safety is sending one for trips and falls and being safe in buildings the off week. We have a safe driving work week every quarter, so they get a daily safety blast that always talks about it.
The reason we spend so much time putting this information out there is to develop that culture of safety, just make it a part of what they’re thinking about all the time instead of waiting until they’ve had a preventable accident and then give them a training session. “Hey, you know what you did wrong? Maybe do this.” We’ll give that to them first. “Don’t let the accident happen.” Of course, we do monitor MVRs. We do training as a result of that. But everything that we do is to try and make the driver better, not try and punish him for being bad.
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah.
Phil Moser: As far as a message that I would give to any driver is, “Listen, the most important thing you do is you go home. You could be the best employee your company has ever hired. You could be great family person; you are just killing it, you’re doing great. But if you lose your life in a car wreck, it all ends.”
The thing of it is, crashes happen in, as Bob was saying, 4.6 seconds, but I reconstruct crashes. I will chart the vehicles, and if people could get a half a second back, even a quarter second back, they miss. Everybody goes home. It’s that fast.
Bethany Brownholtz: Wow.
Phil Moser: How many seconds do people give away to distraction? That’s my big concern. You can go long distance, so 65 miles per hour is what, 88 feet per second? 90? No, 91 feet per, I’ll have to do the math, 65 X 1.467, that’ll give you feet per second.
But anyway, you look down for a few seconds, guess what? You’ve gone the length of a football field without looking, without paying attention. That is totally unsafe. I would tell people, “Listen,” and as Bob said, “When you’re driving, drive. That’s your job. That’s your job when you’re behind the wheel, drive.” Right?
Bethany Brownholtz: Mm-hmm.
Phil Moser: “If anything is distracting, you need to stop, including conversations with other passengers,” and things like that. My kids knew if I had to say these words, “Do I need to stop this car?” They would stop whatever they were doing ’cause I stopped the car once and I can get pretty loud. But that’s why I suggest for all parents, put your children in the trunk. That’s a joke. Don’t put your children in the trunk.
Bethany Brownholtz: This is now about to be the number one episode.
Phil Moser: Don’t put your kids in the trunk, but anything that’s distracting, you just have to put it away and not do it. For all drivers, my message is, “When you’re driving, drive. Done.”
Bethany Brownholtz (25:46): Since we’re going into 2023 now, I’m curious about trends that you’re seeing. What topics do you think deserve more attention? Where would you like to see the industry go next year and beyond?
Bob Mossing: The trend that we’re seeing is still distraction. That’s the biggest thing that’s happening right now. As Phil said, impairment. There’s always been drinking impairment, but self-medicating or even just legalized marijuana is going to become a huge issue.
Those are some of the things, but on the positive side, technology. Technology is coming into play and it’s going to help. It’s not the be all and end all, but what we try and tell people is, “When you’re driving, you’re the one that’s driving. You’re the one that needs to make sure you’re doing it right.” Technology will help, and there’s good technology coming, and maybe that will be a positive thing.
Phil Moser: My big concern going into the next couple of years is going to be, well always, always, always, is distraction. The impairment thing is bothering me because I see some really bad trends starting, and it deals with impairment from marijuana. It’s not even the smoking and the vaping, it’s the eating the edibles and things like that, so I think it’s going to exceed alcohol impairment.
Bethany Brownholtz (27:22): Where do you see companies filling the gaps or innovating to help support some of these future problems/current problems?
Phil Moser: Well, I think software like what TRUCE provides is one thing. That’s so we could start combating the distraction from the electronics, but as far as—
Bethany Brownholtz (27:43): Are any fleets using an impairment app or something where you breathe into something before you can drive or…?
Phil Moser: That’s the problem with marijuana, Bethany, is that they don’t have anything like that yet. There’s going to be a saliva test that they’re working on, but it’s not there yet. It’s going to be challenged in the courts because attorneys make a lot of money. I’m not saying that that’s the wrong thing, people always need to be represented.
But there are going to be some pretty unscrupulous people making a lot of money on fighting the testing that’s going to come about for marijuana impairment, but we’re not there yet. Companies need to say, “Hey,” and be very clear and strict… “Here are our policies and these will not be swayed from. This is what happens.”
I worked for a pharmaceutical company for a few years, and that was the policy that we had put in place. It addressed alcohol and any medications, over-the-counter, illicit drugs and then also legalized and recreational marijuana.
The thing of it is too, is with that, it’s not only just becoming legalized, it’s becoming normalized. Funny, I was having a lunch the other day with some people, and they were talking about how their kids were smoking grass in the basement.
My dad would’ve had us eating off the mantle for a month because we wouldn’t have been able to sit down if we did anything like that. You see, it’s becoming more normalized. It’s like the kid that took a sip of dad’s vodka, well now they’re sparking up down in the basement and then they get behind the wheel.
Most of the time when I arrested people for marijuana impairment, it wasn’t just marijuana, it was marijuana and alcohol. Again, companies need to address this. Organizations need to address this with the drivers that they manage, and they have to get progressive and aggressive with that.
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah, get ahead of it. That’s a good point.
Bob Mossing: I want to touch on that too. Phil, you’re bringing up a good point about how companies need have a strong policy regarding marijuana, because so many states are legalizing it. Canada, the country has legalized it. If all states legalize it in the states, we’re going to have nationwide legalization.
That makes it difficult to enforce something in the workplace. You used to have a drug-free workplace. You could not be under the influence of anything, but now it’s legalized, it stays in your system longer. So companies are getting more laxed with their policy, but they need to stay strong with their fleet policy.
At no time should you ever be under the influence of medication, marijuana, alcohol: it’s the workplace. The vehicle is the workplace, and they have to have strong policy there. They can be laxed on other things because it’s legal for either medicinal or just recreation, but not behind the wheel.
Phil Moser: Right.
Bethany Brownholtz (31:09): Thanks for that. It sounds like you must have quite the backbone in a role like yours. You’ve talked about some fleet managers being like, “Safety’s not my job, I don’t handle that.” You said, let’s see, I liked what you said: “If it’s not your job, make it your job.” So what would you recommend to someone who’s in a hostile environment towards safety, and what makes a true safety leader tick and persevere?
Phil Moser: I was in a situation where I came to work for a pharma company that had pretty much no safety culture, and you have to do it. You have to be smart, so become allies with legal and with HR, and then also you have to get the C-suite on board. I would suggest doing it first with legal and HR because they have a tendency of listening to those folks.
Listen, if it’s not important to the boss, it’s not going to be important to the troops. You have to make sure that all levels of management are on board with this, and with Bob’s company, I saw that firsthand. The CEO of the company Bob works for actually went through the training, and that’s a great example. It’s important that you start developing those relationships as soon as you … If you’re a safety person, you can’t do it on your own. You have to have everybody on board and Bob said, you have to create that culture.
Bob Mossing: Right. Far too often, companies are creating that culture after something happens. So what you need to do is just be that person that’s going to stand up and say, “We don’t want to have to do this after someone dies. We want to do it before.”
I really like the idea of going to legal and HR, because the C-suite will listen to legal and HR. If you have a risk department, and there’s going to be any kind of liability, have them get involved and they will definitely support it. Get people on your side and then take it to the C-suite, and then take it to first-level management and higher management to make it happen.
The safety policy that we go through, the series that we had, talked about that in depth. Develop a safety committee, do something. Get everybody involved, have them talk about it, have them all be at the table helping develop it. You don’t have to do it on your own, but you have to bring it up and get people on board.
Bethany Brownholtz (34:20): What about from the ground up? Any suggestions for engaging at the grassroots level as well?
Bob Mossing: Within an organization?
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah.
Bob Mossing: The grassroots is going to be a driver maybe unhappy with things not being safe. That could be anything from back to the old union days when people were in unsafe work environments and hands were getting chopped off and fingers were going missing. They’re going to scream for safety.
If somebody feels that they’re in an unsafe work environment, they’re probably going to bring it up. They’re probably going to bring it up with the person who’s putting them in that situation. If they’re in an unsafe vehicle or there’s unsafe practices, they’re probably going to go to the fleet manager.
If you’re a new fleet manager and you’re not really used to this, talk to your peers, talk to others. Learn more about what’s going on, but make safety a part of it. That’s just got to be a part of what you do.
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah. Awesome.
Phil Moser: What I’ve found too, Bethany, is that—and I work for a training company—so what I’ve found is that there’s pushback from the driver sometimes. Then once they go through it, they’re going, “Okay. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.”
I can tell you firsthand experience in that when I put drivers, when I was working with the pharma company, I put them through the training. I saved all the emails like, “Hey, thank you for this. I appreciate it.” They realize that this is not some kind of a punishment. They need to understand, again, what I said about talking to a driver saying, “The most important thing you do is you go home today.”
One of the biggest expenses that organizations have are crashes, especially in this country. We are a litigious society, but if [drivers] think, “That’s the only reason you’re doing it,” you’re not going to succeed. They need to understand that the reason you’re doing this is because you are absolutely concerned for their safety.
Bob Mossing: That’s right.
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah.
Phil Moser: You absolutely want them to get home safe every day. That is the main reason for it. All that other stuff, that helps with saving the bucks, but the welfare of the employee is what you’re looking out for.
Bethany Brownholtz (36:47): That’s a great point. Well said. So as we wrap up here, a fun question. Phil, you were on the police force, so if you guys were playing police on TV, I want to know who’s the good cop, and who’s the bad cop? I have my theories, but …
Bob Mossing: I don’t know. I think we’re both the couple of softies. He’s the cop.
Phil Moser: I am not. I’m pretty hard lined.
Bob Mossing: I don’t know. I could see you coming over and pulling me over and being all happy about it. Come on, I ride the motorcycle.
Phil Moser: Come on, Bob.
Bob Mossing: I got to be the badass, right?
Bethany Brownholtz: Okay, so a little of both.
Phil Moser: Well, we can both be bad cop, bad cop? I—
Bethany Brownholtz: I want to see that show.
Bob Mossing: I know.
Phil Moser: Listen, I was intolerant of certain things on the police department. I once said to my dad, “If I’d ever caught you drunk driving, you’d be handcuffed, dad.” He said, “I know it,” so there were certain things.
I got to tell you, I was a softie in some things. If I stopped somebody for speeding, and it was right around this time of year, going into the holidays, and I stopped them, and I saw they had three car seats in the back, I thought, “Yeah, I’m not giving this person a ticket.” Now you know what’s going to happen, people are just going to go out and get a bunch of car seats to throw them in their car, but—
Bob Mossing: I was just thinking to myself, that’s genius.
Phil Moser: What I said earlier about the policy—you have to have a good, solid policy in place. Bob, you mentioned you’ve got to make sure risk management’s involved; get risk, HR, legal, everybody involved. Then, once you have that policy in place, everybody’s signed off on it, adhere to it. So in that sense I guess Bob and I would both be bad cops. If they think that’s being a bad cop doing that, so be it.
Bob Mossing: Yeah. We’re bad cops because we care about people’s safety, so that makes us good cops. But when it comes down to it, we’ve all heard Angry Phil, so I’m going to put it all on Phil.
Bethany Brownholtz (39:16): Oh, my gosh. This is my last question. I know we were already over time, but can you give us a little preview of some topics you’re going to cover in future episodes?
Bob Mossing: I’m looking forward to, we’ll call it season two. We started this one, we’ll make it season one. I think we started in May. This is our 21st episode.
Bethany Brownholtz: Congratulations.
Bob Mossing: It’s been a lot of fun. I think the new year will just be season two, and we’ll start over. Phil’s come with a few ideas. Phil, do you have any previews you want to give?
Phil Moser: Yeah, so just simple things. We’ve covered vehicle maintenance and everything, but we’re talking about having somebody from a tire manufacturer… and that sounds really dry, but if you think about it, the only thing that is between your road and the vehicle are the tires, so they’re pretty important. We’ll talk about that.
Then we talked to a lady who’s the senior director of one of the best safety organizations in the country. We’re going to have her on as a guest. So we’re looking forward to having some more guests on. Then again, we always say we want to be seasonal and topical. So if something pops up that is a hot button issue, we’re going to cover that, and there are things that need to be repeated. Just like right now, I think every episode we say, “Don’t drive distracted.” We beat people up on that. You know what? We cannot say it enough.
Bob Mossing: Right. One thing that we have talked about doing, and we have to figure out how to do it, is maybe do a live podcast at a conference.
Bethany Brownholtz: Ooh, love that.
Bob Mossing: Have anybody come over to our table and just be a part of it, talk about what’s on their minds, what they’re doing about safety and just doing it live. Now, of course, it’ll be recorded and then it’ll be re-broadcast from a live recording, but I think that would be a lot of fun.
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah, that’s awesome. I’m so glad to hear that you’ve got lots in store. I can’t wait to listen next season, and I really appreciate you guys’ time and answers. It’s been a pleasure and a lot of fun.
Bob Mossing: Yeah. Thank you so much for reaching out to us. Thanks for being the fan girl.
Phil Moser: We have one!
Bob Mossing: We have one. Yay. No, really excited and I know that you said you’re going to share this on your blog. Do you want to say what your blog is or any social media that TRUCE has?
Bethany Brownholtz: Yeah, you can find us on Twitter and on LinkedIn. We have a YouTube channel as well. Trucesoftware.com is our website. We have a blog on there, so you’ll see some content from this podcast come out and an article recapping our conversation.
Bob Mossing: That’s great. We’ll put it in the description and YouTube and anybody on any other popular podcast platforms just toward that. So hopefully, they’ll go there and see that and watch that and learn more about TRUCE. But thank you so much for reaching out to us and interviewing us on our podcast. That made for a fun episode, so thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Phil Moser: Yeah. Thanks, Bethany.
Bethany Brownholtz: You’re so welcome. Thank you.
Phil Moser: Thank you.
Bob Mossing: All right. Well, with that we’re going to sign off. If you’re watching this on YouTube, please give us a like and subscribe. If you’re on your popular podcast platform, make sure you’re subscribing so that you can be notified of future episodes. Again, thank you so much. Everybody, have Happy Holidays and we’ll talk soon.