What is the greatest threat to the health and safety of your employees?
Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain 2017/2018 provisional figures are 144 people killed. Including 26 people being struck by moving vehicles. Source: Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain 2018
There were 1793 reported road deaths in 2017. Source: Reported road casualties in Great Britain 2017: Annual Report
There were 24,831 people seriously injured in reported road traffic accidents
There were 170,993 casualties of all severities
Motor traffic levels increased by 1.1 per cent between 2016 and 2017.
Safety in the workplace is taken seriously by many organisations who spend a lot of time, effort, expertise and financial investment to make sure the working environment they provide is safe. As a result the number of fatalities in workplaces, such as factory production lines, is relatively low. However, what about people driving as part of their work role? Their work place includes driving their company vehicle. More than over 25% of fatalities on our roads may involve at work drivers. This equates to around 447 fatalities and 6,207 serious injuries for at work drivers. Your drivers are at a greater risk of being killed or seriously injured than your employees who work on the shop floor or in your offices.
NOW THINK. How much do you invest in training and supporting your drivers?
Could the greatest risk to the health and safety of your workforce be driving for work?
What is the cost of even a minor accident to a company vehicle? How much does it actually cost to repair damage following a parking accident when you add in the hidden costs. For example, someone having to phone up the lease company to report the incident, arrange for the car to be collected or for a replacement, the loss of revenue when your teams miss meetings and sale opportunities, time wasted and the stress of rescheduling of meetings, damage to customer service and reputation, the cost of a manager having to deal with the post incident paper work and so on. What would be the implications if the accident was more serious?
NOW THINK. HOW MUCH TIME AND EXPERTISE DO YOU INVEST IN DRIVER TRAINING?
One person killed or seriously injured is one person too many.
We all have a responsibility to be, "working towards zero road casualties."
Companies also have clear responsibility under Health and Safety to effectively manage their on road risks. This goes beyond making sure vehicles are taxed and insured. The Corporate Manslaughter Act may eventually be used to hold to account those who have failed to protect their drivers. Although there is already legislation in place to deal with inaction resulting in damage or personal injury.
However, you do not need to fear legislation. The reality is that responsible companies are already doing their best to manage their on road risk, extending their traditional health and safety focus to include company drivers and are striving to do the best they can to make sure their staff stay safe. If you were not such a company you would not be reading this. A culture of safety, driven from the top down, understood and subscribed to by everyone, will already be helping you to effectively manage your risk. Although, you may have identified that you need some help or guidance. Also, there are always opportunities for continuous improvement. Including the provision of a driver training programme.
Risk is uncertainty of loss. No company can look into the future and say with certainty they will never be involved in an accident or incident. Many will purchase insurance to mitigate this uncertainty and the potential losses caused. In probability, most will never need it. But to many it is sensible to insure against potential loss. Investing in effective driver training could help to reduce risk.
The risk of accidents is uncertain. However, accidents just do not happen by themselves. There will be a set of circumstances, which on their own, have little or no consequence, but when they come together can result in serious or unintended consequences. Following such an event, not having any polices in place to foresee or manage risk, always 'flying with the wind' and just reacting to the incident does not mean you will be prosecuted. The circumstances of each event are unique and, in the worse case scenario, will be adjudicated by a court of law. Just as having implemented a training programme, along with relevant safety polices and a proactive safety management does not mean, as an organisation, you will be immune from prosecution. Risk is uncertain, as is liability.
However, taking no action and just hoping it will never happen is not an option for responsible organisations.
The uncertainty of loss is caused by being human. We make decisions and take action which we do not always think through at the time. Our actions can be rash and sometimes have unintended consequences. Even when we know the rules and mostly abide by them, sometimes something happens or we find ourselves in circumstances we had not expected and act out of character. We do not always take account of other's actions and how they can affect the decisions and actions we take resulting in consequences which may be good or bad. However, training, just like insurance, can potentially help to reduce this uncertainty of loss by providing people with the knowledge and skills they need to raise their self awareness, make safe choices and may prevent or brake the chain of events leading to a potential incident. 'Flying with the wind' leaves our destiny to others and to chance, rather than taking opportunities to reduce risk by being proactive, preempting foreseeable risks and controlling them. Things can still go wrong and there can be no guarantees. Even companies with the strongest and most driven safety culture can still fall foul because organisations are made up of people who can make mistakes. However, training can help to reduce uncertainty by making sure staff are given opportunities for growth and development at whatever level they are within your company.
Driving is an excellent example of uncertainty because it is something we do most days and take for granted. However, about 25% of fatal and serious road traffic collisions involve someone driving for work and most of us will never have taken any additional training since passing our driving test. Do we decide to fly with the wind and take our chances or do we do something about it? Put another way, would you let someone trained several years ago on basic machinery just get on with it and use the latest manufacturing machinery requiring the use of safety guards and strict operating procedures. Bad luck if they cut off their arm or would you give them training in the expectation they follow the training they have been given?
However, responsibility goes beyond the risk of being prosecuted. If a member of your family was driving for your business you would want the best for them and to know they were safe.
What opportunities have you got in 2019 to reduce the risk to your staff who drive on your behalf as part of your day to day business and to reduce the running cost of your fleet?
Record your findings
Evaluate the risks
Learn from near miss incidents
Encourage responsibility for a culture of safety from the top down
Ask your workforce for their ideas and opinions
Review, reassess and implement
No Action is not an option
Effective fleet driver training will reduce the risk of your drivers being involved in a collision or any incident when driving. Effective training will not only provide your drivers with the tools they need to help them to stay safe but will also empower your managers to effectively manage your on road risk.
How much does each 'simple' damage only incident cost your company in the administration time to arrange replacement vehicles, sort out the damaged vehicle? What about the cost of missed meetings and core business opportunities because your teams are off the road?
Do you know the top ten drivers who are costing you the most money for repairs? What are you going to do about it? Cost of repairs v cost of my driver training?
Fleet training can save you money. Your drivers can be introduced to simple eco- friendly techniques which can potentially increase mpg. The Energy Saving Trust state that long term savings could be 3.7% to 6.2% (Energy Saving Trust).
Even if we are sceptical about eco driving as a real saving due to different organisations quoting anything from 3% to 10% savings in fuel costs or increased mpg, there are real benefits from training investment. Common sense tells us that if drivers are not squeezing the life out of their brakes every five minutes, then brake pads and tyres are going to last longer, reducing your servicing costs. If you could also save an additional 3.7% on your costs how much of a difference would that make to your organisation? How much money per year would you save if everyone one of your drivers improved their MPG by 5%?
Training can also be an effective way of communicating your road safety policies and procedures to all of your staff. For example, workshops are an opportunity to get together your drivers and managers and to focus upon the key messages you want to get across. Effectively communicating and marketing your safety culture to all of your staff.
Have you considered the personal benefits of providing driver training for your staff? Learning techniques which improve safety and reduce your costs also help to reduce your staff's on road stress. Better on road skill means safer progress and less time thinking about other drivers' behaviour, dealing with the driving task calmly, safely and creating more energy to focus on business and not their last drive.
Better driving skills are transferable to your employee's private life. Driving with family in the car, driving for pleasure or for domestic tasks becomes safer. Also, the skills which have been learned can be passed onto family members, friends and colleagues.
"Working towards zero road casualties."
Reduce your organisation's exposure to road risk
Potentially save you money as drivers become more eco friendly
Health and Safety Compliance by demonstrating proactive management of risk before something happens
Effectively communicating and marketing your safety culture, getting staff on board, getting them involved and helping to find solutions to stay safer
Personal benefits of providing driver training for your staff which are transferable to their private lifes
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How can I help you to manage your road risk? Contact Alistair Stuart on 07813 824125 for more information or submit the form below.