Case Study - Cambridgeshire County Council

Profile

Company Name: Cambridgeshire County Council
Business Sector: Local Government
Postal Address: Shire Hall, Cambridge
Postcode: CB3 0AP
Fleet Size Overall: Approx 300
<3.5T goods 40
>3.5T goods 50
Passenger 130
Agricultural 30
Company Cars: 3
Private vehicles used for business purposes: 3063 + 400 grey fleet

Company Overview

Cambridgeshire County Council is the largest employer within Cambridgeshire. As a local government organisation, the activities of the council are many and varied. They cover areas such as education; social services; fire service; libraries; trading standards and transport; and highways among others. Cambridgeshire County Council tackles wide-ranging issues in accordance with its budget, via yearly and forecast planning, project and reactive activities. Work related road safety is a priority area for the organisation.

Nature of Operation and Driving Activities

Because the activities are so wide ranging, the nature of driving activities is also as wide ranging. The majority of those who drive for work drive private vehicles, for visits to local schools, companies, meetings and other sites. There are approximately 400 leased fleet cars, undertaking similar journeys.

Vehicles owned by Cambridgeshire County Council include – mobile library vans; social services transport vehicles; grounds maintenance vehicles; schools minibuses; refrigerated vans-7.5t; “gritter fleet”; and fire engines etc.

Organisational Structure

The organisational structure for Cambridgeshire County Council is as follows:

Chief Executive’s Department

Office of Children and Young People's Services

  • Inclusion
  • Learning
  • Planning and Development
  • Area Director: South Cambs and Cambridge City
  • Area Director: East Cambs and Fenland
  • Area Director: Huntingdonshire

Office of Corporate Services

  • Business Services & Information Technology
  • Finance, Property & Performance
  • Governance
  • People & Policy

Office of Environment and Community Services

  • Customer Service
  • Highways and Access
  • Adult Support Services
  • Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Environment and Regulation
  • Community Learning and Development

Work related Road Safety Policy and Procedures

Cambridgeshire County Council work related road safety/ occupational road risk policy covers all council employees driving, riding (motorcycle) or cycling for work. Because the majority of employees drive a private vehicle for work, insurance, ownership documents, MOT certificates and driving licenses are checked yearly. There are spot checks on the above throughout the year.

All drivers who undertake 3,000 miles or more on company business are required to attend a half day driver training session. The training needs of those employees driving under 3,000 miles a year are assessed on an individual basis, if and when the need arises. However, any employee is able to undertake the training. This training is undertaken using the employee’s own vehicle and includes techniques to deal with potential conflict from other road users (road rage).

Employees who cycle, using their own bicycles or those provided by the County Council will have a similar training and assessment scheme made available to them. The wearing of cycle helmets for all journeys is strongly encouraged – where a pool bike facility is provided the Council will also provide cycle helmets. Employees who use their own motorcycle/moped for business travel will have a similar training and assessment scheme made available to them.

Lease car users, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the lease car scheme, are required to undertake driver training, using their lease car, within three months of delivery of their vehicle. Non-compliance will result in financial penalties and ultimately termination of the lease car contract.

Mobile ‘phones are banned whilst an employee is driving on company business – this includes hand free mobile telephones. Employees are advised to switch their mobile ‘phone off before driving, and retrieve voicemails at the end of their journey.

Generic risk assessments have been undertaken on all of the above to ensure risk has been reduced as low as reasonably practicable. Specific variations from the generic risk assessments are undertaken by individual team members.

The contents of the occupational road risk policy form part of an employee’s company induction. Drivers are not able to claim back mileage until their driving documents have been seen and verified by their manager. This task must be completed yearly. All of the details of the occupational road risk policy are available on the organisation’s intranet “CamWeb”, and further guidance for employees and managers is given here. Should there be a serious accident or adverse weather conditions in the vicinity of the Council’s offices, a special briefing note is emailed to all employees.

Serious road traffic collisions are investigated by the insurance risk manager and the Road Safety Officer (Driver Behaviour), in conjunction with the parties involved in the incident, line managers and the Union, under a “no blame culture”. Individuals in this circumstance are therefore not subject to disciplinary procedures.

Work related Road Safety Guidance for drivers

The following is the overview of the road safety policy given on the Council’s intranet. This page gives a brief summary of the Council’s approach to road risk. Further details and a manager’s checklist are available below.

Who is covered?

This policy covers all Council employees, including those on Teacher’s terms and conditions and all Council volunteers who undertake travel for the council.

Documentation

You must hold a full UK driving licence that covers the type of vehicle you are driving. You must also be insured for business travel. Foreign nationals coming to live/work in Cambridgeshire are legally required to exchange their foreign driving licence for a full UK licence within 12 months of entry into the UK.

Before you submit your first travel expenses claim your line manager will need to check your documents. A written record of document checks is required - the travelling by car starter form that should be used is available below. Random checks should be carried out during the year.

You must notify your line manager of any endorsement or pending prosecution, which may be added to your driving licence, or affect your ability to drive/motorcycle. You should let your manager know of a change in your medical condition that may affect your ability to drive.

Safety

To make sure that you are safe you must:

  • Plan adequate time to undertake journeys
  • Use a suitable/road worthy vehicle
  • Wear glasses if you need them to drive
  • Not drive/cycle under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription drugs that may cause drowsiness
  • Wear a cycle helmet and high visibility clothing when cycling
  • Follow the Highway Code when cycling

A modified risk assessment is available below to assess any risks and plan actions to minimise road risk.

Mobile telephones

You must not use mobile telephones while driving, this includes hands free phones. You must not make calls to colleagues that that you know are driving.

Mandatory Driver Training

You must participate in the driver training programme for 'lease cars' and 'own vehicles'.

Reporting Accidents

If you have an accident while driving at work you must tell your line manager and this must be reported to the Road Safety Officer (Driver Behaviour), using the form below. You must also complete the IRF(96) incident report form and send it to the Health & Safety Advisory Group, within 24 hours or as soon as reasonably practicable.

Contact details for the Council’s Road Safety Education team are listed with this information, should employees have specific questions or issues.

Specific examples of procedures

  • Driver checklist completed yearly
  • Spot checks of driving license, insurance and MOT details
  • Driver training for all employees driving more than 3,000 miles a year and all fleet drivers
  • Specific components of the policy to include motorbike/scooter riders and cyclists

Auditing and review

The Risk Management Division and the Road Safety Officer (Driver Behaviour) are responsible for ensuring the implementation of this policy within the Council.

The Road Safety Officer (Driver Behaviour) is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of this policy against agreed performance indicators:

  • the number of employees attending appropriate training;
  • the total number of reported accidents within each directorate;
  • the number of reported accidents within each mileage category within each directorate;
  • the number and type of incidents involving any one driver;
  • the types of injury sustained; and
  • the number of working days lost due to accident related absence.

The Road Safety Officer (Driver Behaviour) submits a monitoring report to the Risk Management Division and Strategic Management Team (SMT) as required.

The policy will be reviewed and its effectiveness evaluated annually in the light of issues raised or identified as part of the monitoring process.

Performance measures

The key performance measures are:

  • Number of employees trained/number of drivers eligible for training
  • Crash rates per fleet vehicle
  • Crash cost per fleet vehicle
  • Fleet insurance costs
  • Crash causation factors

Accident reduction

Prior to the policy being introduced, crash figures for lease car fleet for 1999/2000 showed 272 claims costing £228,000. In the years after the policy was introduced figures for 2003/2004 showed 132 claims costing £105,000. This represents a 50% reduction.

The costs for 2007/2008 show 82 claims costing £63,000 (to be confirmed).

Financial and other benefits

See above.

Lessons learned

The key lessons learned are:

  1. The difficulty in implementing one work related road safety policy for many different business areas and activities and ensuring it is followed.
  2. A ‘No blame’ culture has allowed us to identify weaknesses in our occupational road risk policy and also in company culture, which has lead to improved road safety practices.
  3. Getting initial buy-in, especially for driver training was difficult, but achievable. However, when a small percentage of staff have completed driver training, word of mouth eases the cascade of the road safety message and the benefits of driver training.

Current and future developments

Considering the benefits of implementing compulsory driver training for employees who drive between 1500 and 3000 miles, the Council understands that in the vast majority of cases, most drivers have undertaken no further driver training, than that required to pass their driving test. Additionally, the fleet insurer has indicated that the main cost reduction benefit has been due to the implementation of driver training, therefore we feel there may be a need to implement training with more employees. A cost-benefit analysis will be undertaken to further investigate the benefits of lowering this threshold.

We are currently ensuring that all employees have knowledge and access to the details of our occupational road risk policy and understand the risks associated with driving for work. The majority of this work will be centred on schools, which have no access to our intranet system, but have their own Education portal, on which the information will be replicated.

The County Council has recently run a series of seminars, entitled “Road Safety: We Mean Business” to assist local companies in improving their work related road safety, and in writing occupational road risk policies. These seminars are likely to continue as an initiative offered by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership.

Additional information

Intentionally Blank

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