Case Study - Chamberlain Doors


Company Name: Chamberlain Doors
Business Sector: Consumer Industries
Postal Address: Chamberlain Doors Ltd, Scot Lane, Bolton
Postcode: BL6 5SG
Fleet Size Overall:


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Company Cars: Intentionally Blank
Private vehicles used for business purposes: NOT PERMITTED

Company Overview

Chamberlain Doors are a specialist distributor and installer of garage doors operating throughout the UK with their main focus of distribution out of their head office warehousing complex in Bolton. The installation facility is operated from the same site in Bolton and a satellite office in Coatbridge. The firm’s main office is at Blackrod, near Bolton. Approximately 45 members of the company's staff are involved in driving for work.

In 2010 the company purchased a specialist GRP garage door manufacturing company in Dorset and the distribution for the group is now handled centrally, which involved an almost overnight doubling of the distribution requirements.

Chamberlain Doors’ commitment to safe working practice covers all respective job functions. The firm participated in an evaluation of Work Related Road Safety run by the Transport Research Laboratory which reviewed the company’s policies in this area as well as its comprehensive programme of training. As a result of its performance in this study, the company was asked to become a Business Champion in the Driving for Better Business Programme.

Chamberlain Doors was established in 1974 and has grown to be Europe’s largest independent garage door specialist. The core activities of the company and its group are:

  • The distribution of garage doors, electrical garage door openers and replacement parts.
  • The supply and installation of garage doors and electric garage door openers.
  • The specialist manufacture of high quality grp garage doors.

Chamberlain Doors offers a specialist supply and installation service to retail customers, trade and sub-contractors for the major house builders. High levels of service and quality of operation have always been top of the company’s list of priorities and the company continually strives to improve its levels of service to all customer sectors.

Nature of Operation and Driving Activities

Chamberlain Doors operates in the region of 40 vehicles ranging from 14t curtain sided, 7.5t cargo delivery vehicles and 3.5t specialist box vehicles to light commercial vans and motor cars.

Approximately 45 members of staff are involved in some kind of driving activity during their working week. This commitment may vary between a full time role as a driver and to driving for ad hoc purposes of shorter duration.

Chamberlain Doors’ Driving Policy and Safe Working Practice procedures apply equally to all members of staff at all locations.

Organisational Structure

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Work Related Road Safety Policy and Procedures

Chamberlain Doors is committed to safety on the road. The company’s policy is in accordance with HSE Driving at Work guidance. The key areas of this policy are focussed on the following:

  • The commitment to work related road safety is led by the Managing Director.
  • All vehicles are regularly inspected.
  • Privately owned vehicles are not used for work purposes unless the vehicle has an MOT certificate and is insured?
  • All driving licences are checked.
  • All drivers are evaluated and additional training is offered.
  • All drivers receive induction training.
  • All drivers receive a handbook giving advice and information on road safety? It bases it policy and procedures for work related road safety on a combination of training and information which is distributed to all drivers on a regular basis. All its drivers are trained by Fleet Interventions.
  • Drivers of the company's commercial vehicles are currently engaged in their CPC Licence training.

The policy was originally developed in support of the company’s safety culture and reflects the Chamberlain Doors ethos of a “top to bottom” commitment to health and safety. The company is proud of the standards by which it operates. The policy is based on an evolutionary system which is regularly updated within a controlled plan.

It is extended on an ongoing basis to cover new risks, legislation or in response to specific conditions.

Whilst not originally developed for any other specific reason or cost benefit the policy has resulted in:

  • A fleet of which the company can be proud.
  • An ethos of safe driving.
  • Fewer vehicle accidents.
  • Less accidental or careless damage to vehicles.
  • Better care and attention to vehicles. This has raised residual values of the Chamberlain Doors fleet.

Involvement within Driving for Better Business programme has highlighted the strengths of Chamberlain Doors’ existing systems and philosophy. The company is pleased that its involvement and recognition within the Driving for Better Business programme is providing an ‘added value’ approach for its customers and suppliers.

Chamberlain Doors is keen to extend its own experiences within its industry and trade association – The Door and Hardware Federation – to encourage increasing awareness of the importance of work related road safety.

Work Related Road Safety Guidance for drivers

Chamberlain Doors provides all its drivers with Driving Manuals; Handbooks and Risk Assessment Tools. These cover the following areas:

  • Full and extensive risk assessments.
  • Individual Driver Handbooks allocated to each vehicle by registration number.
  • Defensive Driver Training and retraining policy.
  • Induction Training for new drivers.
  • Effective and regular communication with all company drivers.
  • Full system of driving licence check and recheck.
  • Driving offences.
  • Accident Management and investigation.
  • Systematic approach to driver eligibility to drive and control over non company employed drivers (where applicable).
  • A no compromise approach to employees using their own vehicles for company business.
  • Drivers hours, records and tachographs.
  • Winter Driving Programme.
  • Security whilst driving.
  • Daily Defect Reporting System and condition of vehicles.
  • Use of mobile phones whilst driving.
  • Smoking Regulations.
  • Loading and Unloading.
  • Reversing.
  • O-licences.
  • Maintenance and servicing routines and schedules.
  • Manual Handling and Working at Heights.

On the basis of its experience in managing work related road safety Chamberlain Doors intends to introduce the following new elements into its policy:

  • Training developed by supplying dealerships with regards to warning lights, and vehicle familiarisation.
  • Eyesight tests for company drivers.
  • Advanced Driving Courses.
  • Closer involvement with servicing partners with respect to driver defect reporting and defect resolution.

Specific examples of procedures

Chamberlain Doors is keen to ensure its drivers avoid fatigue at the wheel. Its policy highlights the differences between sleepiness and fatigue and lays down clear guidelines for the firm’s drivers on how they are to deal with both issues. This policy is in accordance with the Department for Transport guidelines. It directs drivers to take regular breaks every 2 hours and provides advice on how to identify the signs of tiredness.

Auditing and review

Chamberlain Doors operates a comprehensive reporting and KPI monitoring programme. This programme addresses the following aspects of managing work related road safety:

  • Drivers Hours.
  • Mileages.
  • MPG.
  • Vehicle accidents.
  • Hazard notification from employees.
  • Complaints.
  • Accidental damage and incident.
  • Full monthly vehicle checks.
  • Vehicle Repair and maintenance costs.

Performance measures

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Accident reduction

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Financial and other benefits

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Lessons learned

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Current and future developments

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Additional information

Chamberlain Doors are a founder Member of the Association of Garage Door Specialists and a Member of the International Door Association. They are also members of the Freight Transport Association.

Chamberlain Doors have provided the following documentation in support of this Business Case:

  • Driving and Fleet Safety Risk Assessment
  • Vehicle Loading Risk Assessment
  • Health and Safety Bulletin – Work Related Road Safety
  • Memorandum re Daily Vehicle and Road Worthiness Check
  • Vehicle Security Information
  • Bulletin – 60 Second Checklist to Beat Vehicle Crime
  • Driving Qualification and Licences Information
  • Top Tips for Safe Driving – Bulletin to all Company Vehicle Drivers
  • Winter Driving Advice – Issued to all Company Vehicle Drivers
  • Mobile Phone Regulations Bulletin
  • Avoiding Fatigue at the Wheel Bulletin
  • Distractions Whilst Driving Bulletin
  • Driving – The Effects of Medication
  • Wearing of Seat Belts Bulletin
  • Tips for Safe Driving – Speed Regulation

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