Iron Mountain



Champion: Iron Mountain

Business Sector: Information storage and management

Fleet Size: 150 HGV, 300 Vans + Company Cars

Safety is at the top of the agenda within Iron Mountain with the area of transport being a key part. The teams across our geographies continually focus on drivers and vehicles utilising the many processes and procedures put in place by the Fleet Safety Team.

As an organisation we focus on continuous improvement across all aspects of our operations with safety a key area, we also adopt a very structured auditing process to ensure compliance.

John Ball, Vice President Operations Executive for Western Europe


In the UK and Ireland Iron Mountain operates approx 300 vans and 150 trucks from a number of depots. These vehicles vary in type and include small panel vans, HGVs, articulated trailers and specialised vehicles for containers, bins and moving floors and compactors. Overall mileage covered in the UK and Ireland is circa 200,000 miles per week.

To address work-related road safety, Iron Mountain UK has established a Fleet Safety Forum made up of transport specialists, risk managers, health and safety representatives, driver trainers, drivers and senior management.

Road safety is high on the agenda. Senior executives have supported the work-related road risk programme right from the start. The company has a Fleet Safety Policy which underpins all activity designed to reduce risk and promote road safety. It is complemented by a suite of global standards and policies.

Policies & Procedures:

At the end of 2008 the company formulated a business case for a comprehensive programme of assessment and training. The case received leadership support and has ultimately led to a significant reduction in the number of incidents, claims and claims costs.

The key objective case was to improve the management of work-related road risks in order to:

  • reduce the risk of harm to employees and others
  • reduce the number of incidents
  • reduce costs
  • meet all legal requirements of health & safety legislation
  • meet the objectives of the corporate social responsibility plan.
  • During 2008 Iron Mountain embarked on an in-depth fact finding operation in partnership with Zurich Risk Engineering to understand what would be required to meet Iron Mountains aspirations for managing its work-related road risk

A series of gap analyses identified a number of necessary improvements that culminated in 2009 with the implementation of a comprehensive 5-point strategy and programme for managing our work-related road risk.

1: Driver Handbook Comprehension Check

The Iron Mountain Driver Handbook is an important document for all our drivers. It contains all the relevant policies and procedures. Knowing that the handbook has been read and understood is as important to us as putting the policies in place. To ensure this is the case, we have made it mandatory for all drivers to take an on-line comprehension test, with a 100% pass mark. This forces drivers to read the handbook and increases the chances that they will comply with it. Equally important is the robust audit trail it produces, a line manager can not only prove a driver has received the handbook but also that they have read and understood it.

2: Online Risk Assessment Programme

The next step was an online risk assessment programme covering the three fundamental areas of work-related road safety; the driver, the journeys they make and the vehicles they use, as well as the core driving competencies; the driver’s attitudes, behaviours, knowledge and hazard recognition skills. This independently validated assessment provided a comprehensive insight into the risks faced, allowing Iron Mountain to prioritise where action was needed and what interventions were required.

3: In House Driver Assessment and Training

While these assessments were being rolled out across the business, five in-house driver trainers were recruited and trained, with the help of Zurich Risk Engineering. The role of the driver trainers is to ensure that practical in-vehicle assessments are carried out, and any interventions based on the findings of these ‘ride alongs’, plus the output from the online risk assessments and any post-incident analyses, are implemented quickly and effectively. The driver trainers focus on safety and environmental efficiency areas as well as other operational issues, ensuring that Iron Mountain employees drive as safely and effectively as they can. This approach applies to existing drivers as well as new recruits, where this team is fully involved in the recruitment and induction processes.

4: Developing an On-road Safety Culture

One of the key success factors in any work-related road risk management strategy is to develop the on-road safety culture – driving is a very emotive issue and drivers need to recognise that there may be opportunities to improve their own driving. Iron Mountain recognised the importance of this very early on, and has developed a communication strategy that uses different methods to regularly communicate with its drivers. As an example, the driver handbook is issued to the driver every day, when they collect the keys for the vehicle, and is used to communicate any topical issues.

5: Driver Behaviour Telematics

The adoption of driver behaviour telemetry in 2011, as part of the Zurich Fleet Intelligence programme, built on the outstanding results already achieved using conventional work-related road risk management tools and techniques. It wasn’t just a case of fitting the technology and hoping for the best – Iron Mountain not only recognised the power of this tool, but also understood that it would need to be closely managed to be effective in the long term, and that the understanding and support of the drivers would be vital.

A comprehensive roll-out plan ensured that everyone – drivers and their line managers – knew why the company was investing in this technology and what the benefits would be to them. Weekly calls with the telematics vendor ensure that managers understand the data that is generated and are in a position to do something with it – employees who meet the required driving-safety standards are rewarded and further help is provided to any drivers who fall short.

Guidance for Drivers:

Iron Mountain has invested considerable time and resource into its work-related road risk programme and collaborated closely with its partners to design and deliver bespoke solutions that not only mitigate risk but look to reduce it continually. None of this work would have been possible without the trust and co-operation of the drivers.

All drivers receive in-house Driver CPC courses and each driver is risk profiled against many areas of road safety, driving licence history, vehicle incident history, telemetry scores, tachograph and road traffic violations. This is a combination of on-line and in-cab driving assessments undertaken by the five dedicated in-house driver trainers.

The Driver Behaviour Telematics system gives drivers real time alerts in the cab via a small green yellow and red display so they can monitor their own driving. Incidents and violations are recorded and a driver report compiled via a web-based link for the manager to debrief with the driver.

Specific Examples of Procedures

Weekly Road Risk Conference Calls

Our teams hold weekly conference calls to discuss and evaluate daily and weekly reports from our telematics supplier, our risk management team (vehicle incidents) and operational managers. There are numerous key performance indicators related to reducing risk, such as telematics scores and speed. Personal objectives are tied into bonus schemes to reduce risk and each of the five dedicated driver trainers are tasked with incident reduction within their regions.

Speeding violations reduced by 80%

We introduced a ‘speed-by-speed zone’ daily report for all of our UK and Ireland vehicles, which reports any violation of more than 4 miles per hour above any posted limit. (for example 35 in a 30, 45 in a 40 etc.). We have worked with drivers to reduce the number of violations and within 6 months have reduced it by over 80%. We now average less than one violation per week, per vehicle. This represents a remarkable achievement on the part of the drivers given that, collectively, they cover around 200,000 miles per week. The on-time delivery service KPI of 99.97% has not been affected by the initiative. Consequently, the drivers now realise that they don’t have to speed to get the job done and therefore feel more relaxed.

Driver telematics delivered a return on investment within eight months

The Driver Behaviour Telematics System was deployed across the UK and Ireland fleets in 2011. It reports on various aspects of driving behaviour including; acceleration, braking, cornering, lane handling and speeding. Over 100 different vehicle movements are captured by the system. The driver sees real time alerts in the cab via a small green, yellow and red display. The objective is to remain in the green during the drive. Incidents or violations are recorded and a report for the driver provided via a web-based link for the manager to debrief with the driver. The scoring method is to aim to score below 20, which will suggest a ‘safer’ drive. 21-50 is Yellow and over 50 is red. We considered that <20 was too easy a target as our drivers had received one-to-one training and were very professional, so we created a target of <10. We have 99% of our drivers consistently achieving this target and we have seen considerable benefits from improved safety and reduced risk.

The system delivered a return on investment within eight months. It has now been installed across the rest of the Western European fleet. According to our telematics supplier, Iron Mountain records the best results worldwide.

Accredited to Van Excellence and FORS

We are accredited to the FTA Van Excellence scheme in the UK and Ireland and were the first company to be accredited a few years ago. Rory Morgan (Head of Logistics Support for Western Europe) attends the Van Excellence Governance Group and has done so since its conception. He has also recently been elected chairman for the group for the next two years. We have accreditation with Transport for London’s ‘Freight Operators Recognition scheme’ FORS

Drivers invited to meetings with vehicle fitters

The Central Compliance team works closely with our vehicle lease providers on the specifications of the fleet. They hold regular meetings and reviews with the post OEM body builders and invite drivers along to discuss the best options for vehicle safety and security with their fitters. Simple things such as where to position a grab handle can be very important to the driver.

Auditing and Review

In terms of competiveness; duty of care and risk reduction was the main drivers for the business. The investment and other initiatives were collated into business plans based on safety. The plan included close liaison and advice from our insurers and consisted of a project group to identify best opportunities by implementing best practice and exploring various initiatives. The plan was and is continually reviewed, with further opportunities then discussed and explored.

Iron Mountain’s customers often ask about the company’s performance in terms of road safety and sustainability.

The Central Compliance Team is very pleased to demonstrate and share our successful approach. We are only too glad to assist other companies to work on their risk reduction and happy to share initiatives and ideas.

Performance Measures

The results of the gap analyses in graph 1 show the continuous improvements that have been made, reflected in the percentage improvement in the collision and claim rates.
The results from the driver behaviour telematics have been equally impressive. Graph 2 shows the reduction in speeding violations where a vehicle was being driven at more than 5mph above the posted speed limit. Now there is an average of just one speeding incident per vehicle per week.

This improvement in speed limit compliance has also seen a significant drop in the number of ‘Notice of Intended Prosecutions’ (graph 3) that the company receive, suggesting that employees are not only driving safer on company business, but also in their own vehicles too.

Accident and Incident Cost Reduction

As a result of work-related road safety measures

Lessons Learned

The basics are relatively easy and not cost or resource prohibitive. Work on getting the fundamentals right first and see the benefits before increasing investment. If you do decide to invest in driver behaviour telemetry, do NOT consider it a ‘silver bullet’, you have to adjust based on the information delivered to manage and increase benefits. The system will not solve all ills on its own and employers have to learn to use and work with the data reported.

Managing work-related road risks is not a short-term fix, and has to be managed on an ongoing basis to ensure that any reductions in claims and collisions are sustainable, and so that further improvements can be made.

With Iron Mountain’s investment in in-house driver trainers, and a wide range of risk reduction strategies in place, including the proactive use of driver behaviour telematics, the business remains focused on the issue to ensure that the impressive reductions in incidents and claims continue

The work-related road risk management programme that Iron Mountain have in place has been rightly recognised throughout the industry as being best in class. The ongoing improvements in the collision and claim rates are a testament to the excellent work that Rory and his team are doing on a daily basis – the results speak for themselves.
Andy Price, Practice Leader – Europe, Motor Fleet, at Zurich Risk Engineering

Iron Mountain has been a valued supporter of FTA’s Van Excellence scheme from the very start. Rory Morgan, National Logistics General Manager at Iron Mountain, was part of the original working group, which formulated the Van Excellence Code of Practice and is currently Chairman of the scheme’s Governance Group.

Throughout this process we have never failed to be impressed by the commitment, forward-thinking and attention to detail within Iron Mountain’s logistics function. The excellence of their operation along with a willingness to work with partners such as Zurich and to share their expertise within the van operation should be an inspiration to other van operators
Mark Cartwright – Freight Transport Association

Business Benefits

Key to Iron Mountain’s success has been its determination to accurately record incidents and costs so that cost-effective action could be taken based on clear evidence. This approach has resulted in substantial financial and business benefits. Since 2008, as a direct result of these measures:

  • Vehicle incidents have been reduced by 74%.
  • Speeding violations reduced by 80% in the first six months
  • Own damage and third party costs have been reduced by 60%, lowering annual costs by over £200k.
  • Insurance premiums have been reduced in three of the last four years with 14%, 8% and 9% reductions respectively. In the only year without a reduction, the premium remained static.
  • On top of these cost reductions, we have seen significant fuel savings that represent circa 7% improvement on fuel efficiency as defensive driving directly correlates to fuel-efficient driving.
  • We have also seen maintenance costs reduced by 4.5% in the first years’ initiatives and over 30% overall since the telemetry was installed, as the vehicles are driven more considerately.
  • There are other un-quantifiable cost savings through service and reputation. We have been awarded several road safety awards over the last few years based on our initiatives and subsequent results.