Case Study - Faversham House Group Ltd


Company Name: Faversham House Group Ltd
Business Sector: Media – publishing in print and online, exhibition and event organisation
Postal Address: Faversham House, 232a Addington Road, South Croydon, Surrey
Postcode: CR2 8LE
Fleet Size Overall: 55
HGV: Zero
LGV: One
Company Cars: 49
Private vehicles used for business purposes: About half a dozen including 3 directors

Company Overview

Faversham House is a second generation family owned and run media company. The company is almost 50 years old and has around 100 employees working mainly from the head office in Croydon. We publish business to business magazines and websites, and organise trade exhibitions and events aimed at professional audiences. Our principal markets are environment, water, home improvement, building services, visual communications and road and traffic management. Faversham House connects people and helps them do business.

Nature of Operation and Driving Activities

We have a field sales force of 30 who use their company cars to visit clients and attend events around the UK. A number of our editors and senior managers also have company cars and use these for client visits. We have one company LGV which is used for deliveries, collections and general moving of goods.

Organisational Structure

Our business is organised by markets and by media. We have three principal publishing divisions:

  • Home Improvement;
  • Building Services;
  • Water and Environment.

In addition, we have a new media division and an exhibitions division.

Work related Road Safety Policy and Procedures

At Faversham House safety and responsibility are high on the agenda and feature in our 7 core values.  We started developing policies and practices four years ago in order to improve work related road safety as part of the organisation’s wider safety culture.

Since 2005 and with the support of senior management, we have developed robust policies and procedures for those who drive for work.  Driver assessment and training has been an important part of our approach.  On starting a driver will need to produce their driving licence to the Fleet Manager who will then spend time going through and discussing the company car rules before asking the employee to sign a form of receipt stating that they have read and understood these rules. Each new company car driver will then be taken out in their vehicle for a driver risk assessment carried out by a ROSPA trained risk assessor. This assessment includes an eye test and an approximate one hour drive that covers town, rural and motorway driving. On completion the driver attains a score and this is used to ascertain whether any driver training is necessary. Further assessments can be carried out as deemed necessary.

Work related Road Safety Guidance for drivers

On starting a driver is given a copy of our drivers’ handbook that gives advice on safe and economic driving which they are given time to sit and read during their induction and then sign for. The Fleet Manager sends out regular e-mails advising on best practice when driving in poor conditions and any changes to the Highway Code and any other driver information that would prove useful.  High mileage journeys are discouraged and clear guidelines are provided on mobile phones, driver’s hours, fatigue, rest breaks and overnight accommodation.

Spot checks are carried out on a regular basis to ensure company vehicles are being kept in a safe and road-worthy condition. Maintenance schedules are strictly adhered to and drivers are encouraged to undertake weekly checks on their vehicles. Problems are addressed promptly.

Specific examples of procedures

A copy of licences is taken on start and information recorded on dedicated fleet management software. The driver is supplied with Company car rules & driver handbook and sign on receipt.  Driver assessments are carried out and records kept on file, with training given if necessary. Safe driving guidelines are given to all company car drivers as a matter of course.  All accidents are investigated, details recorded and causation trends analysed.  Post-incident refresher training is offered to those who require it.

Faversham House Group is also committed to promoting sustainability. We understand the links between safety and sustainability and attach great importance to both.  We have recently become one of only a handful of companies to achieve accreditation from BSI for BS 8901 Sustainable Event Management. As part of our commitment to sustainability, we are working towards a CO2 emissions rating of 120 g/km. At present our average fleet emissions for 2008 were 145 g/km vs. the UK average of 158 g/km. In future, we will only be offering vehicles that emit 120 g/km or less. Currently, we have 4 vehicles that emit under 120 g/km.

Auditing and review

Driving licences are checked annually and drivers can be further assessed if any problems in their driving become apparent i.e. accidents or speeding fines. Training is given if necessary. All accidents are recorded on our fleet software and reviewed annually. An accident investigation form is completed by any drivers involved in a serious incident.

Performance measures

  • Accident costs
  • Speeding fines
  • Insurance costs
  • Driver assessment scores

Accident reduction

This is closely related to recruitment trends but we have seen a significant drop in serious incidents since our driver risk assessments programme began.

Financial and other benefits

  • Reduction in costs through fewer accidents and thus lower insurance premiums;
  • Less time off lost through accidents;
  • Benefits to the drivers due to more economical driving style.

Lessons learned

It is important to have support at CEO level to ensure safety stays at the top of the agenda, policies are adhered to and the Fleet Manager is supported in his/her work.  The majority of drivers respond well to our procedures with a general feeling that the company cares about their health and safety and how they drive. Increased understanding of safety and improved staff moral throughout the company has shown positive benefits in terms of staff retention and accident reduction.

Current and future developments

The company is considering developing an in-house driver training programme so it will be tailor-made for our drivers. This will involve our Fleet Services Manager attaining driver trainer qualifications. Taking driver training in-house will save the company money and enable the company to undertake more extensive driver training.

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