Safety is Always Front-of-Mind
Thomas J. Harris, Vice President of Safety and Human Resources
With the responsibility of day-to-day transportation for more than 300 million passengers each year, safety First Transit core value. It is at front of mind at all times. It comes from conditioning proper thought processes and behaviors, preparing for situations, and knowing how to respond in ways that protect the well being of our employees, those with whom we work, and those we serve.
Our World Class Safety program encourages all First Transit employees to follow best practices and thought processes designed with safety in the workplace as our top priority.
Through the program, we are creating a cultural identity that is focused on:
- Rewarding improvements in both individual and team performance.
- Encouraging group safety awareness activities.
- Recognizing and rewarding personal safety longevity.
From management to operations, safety is the number one goal of every First Transit employee. World Class Safety was initiated to ensure that no priority, or perceived priority, should be pursued without following safety standards.
We emphasize this safety culture in our employee recruiting, selection, orientation, training, education, and management support. Our drivers, mechanics, and other employees are expected to look out for the safety of the passengers we transport each day. That same protection is given to our co-workers, those who depend on each of us to do our jobs responsibly and with focus on safety. Safety is continually stressed and reinforced throughout our day-to-day operations; in our employee reviews; and, at every management and employee meeting.
Ensuring Driver Safety
Our workforce is thoroughly vetted before hiring, with evaluations that continue throughout their employment. First Transit emphasizes driver training and best practices through:
- Pre-employment and ongoing random drug and alcohol testing
- Stringent background and record checks
- Physical performance evaluations
- Comprehensive customer service training
- The Smith System of Defensive Driver Training program, which is completed as part of new driver training, as well as refreshers conducted throughout the year.
- Extensive ongoing driver training, including in-classroom and behind-the-wheel training
- A recognized safety standard
Because our safety and injury prevention programs are company-wide, we foster open dialogue throughout the organization with an emphasis on recognizing and rewarding safe practices; and, speaking up if an unsafe practice is observed.
Our commitment to safety has paid off in the form of countless awards and recognition. More recently, our parent company, FirstGroup, was awarded the National Safety Council’s Green Cross for Safety Medal, the highest award for safety in North America, in recognition of our strong safety culture, outstanding safety record, and commitment to our core values of safety and customer service.