Case Study - T-Mobile UK Ltd

Profile

Company Name: T-Mobile UK Ltd
Business Sector: Telecommunications
Postal Address: Hatfield Business Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Postcode: AL10 9BW
Fleet Size Overall:  
HGV: 0
LGV: 0
Company Cars: 550
Private vehicles used for business purposes: 850

Company Overview

T-Mobile is a telecommunications organisation providing mobile voice and data services to over 17 million customers in the UK.

T-Mobile is committed to being a leader in protecting the health and safety of its employees and its at-work drivers.

Nature of Operation and Driving Activities

The majority of driving activity on business is to meet with customers or to attend meetings with suppliers or with industry related colleagues. Sixty vehicles are used for off-road access to remote cell sites in order to integrate new sites or to resolve issues at these sites.

Organisational Structure

Accountability for occupational road risk at T-Mobile is vested in the Health & Safety Department with day to day responsibility for managing this delegated to line managers.

Work Related Road Safety Policy and Procedures

T-Mobile introduced its Occupational Road Risk Strategy in 2000 when its then 1500 vehicle fleet of company cars had an 80% accident rate. The size of the fleet and the overall number of cars driven on business has dropped over the years due to company restructuring. Its guidance covers the points within the Department for Transport’s document – ‘Driving for Work – Managing work related road safety’.

Work Related Road Safety Guidance for drivers

T-Mobile Occupational Safe Driving Policy lays down that all drivers complete an at work e-learning module, have their driving licences checked on an annual basis. Clear guidance is given on the use of hands-free mobile phones and the non-use of mobiles while driving.

Specific examples of procedures

On request

Auditing and review

T-Mobile internal audits are completed on each Directorate on an annual or bi-annual basis dependent on risk levels. Driving for business is covered in this audit. We are also accredited to international health and safety standard OHSAS 18001 and are audited every six months by British Standards (BSI).

Performance measures

T-Mobile carries out the following work related road safety processes:

  • Monthly review of driver training.
  • Monthly analysis of road traffic accident data for company cars.

Accident reduction

See below

Financial and other benefits

Cost of occupational road risk is constantly monitored. Benefits of training and other driver interventions are regularly appraised.

T-Mobile also introduced a driver training programme in 2000 and gave all drivers of company cars one-to-one tuition. Employees who were involved in multiple incidents over a 12 month period underwent additional training. This policy resulted in an immediate reduction in the number of accidents over the following 12 month period.

Between 2001-2002, T-Mobile had seen its insurance premiums double to around £1.1 million. On the strength of the view that the driver training programme would result in crash reduction, the T-Mobile Board decided to switch from a comprehensive insurance policy to third party and self insure for accident damage. This decision has been justified by further reductions in the accident rate.

The driver training programme has been further expanded by introducing driver refresher training 12 months after a driver’s initial training. Additionally, all employees who drive a company car and cash allowance drivers (2200 in total) complete an e-learning risk module.. By 2005 T-Mobile’s incident rate had dropped to 55%. As T-Mobile identified that the rate of crash reduction was slowing down, it began a trial with the GreenRoad Technologies’ Safety Centre system.

Lessons learned

T-Mobile makes improvements as a result of lessons learned to its existing processes and systems on a regular basis.

A significant lesson has been that although on-the-road driver training is very good and helps drivers to identify their bad habits, the introduction of the GreenRoad Technologies’ Safety Centre system produces a permanent safety intervention which every time an employee drives, their behaviour is monitored. However, T-Mobile use the system only as a risk management tool to collate data for collective performance assessments rather than individual assessments.

Current and future developments

T- Mobile installed in-car telemetric ‘black box’ technology from the GreenRoad Technologies’ Safety Centre system in 20 vehicles in late 2005. On successful conclusion to the trial, a further 250 company cars were fitted out in Quarter 4 2006. These vehicles covered a cross section of the T-Mobile fleet including those driven by the “high-risk” field based engineers, management cars and those driven by the Health and Safety management team. This resulted in a marked change in driver behaviour in the first 6 months of 2007 with an 18% reduction in the number of road traffic accidents and a cost reduction of 23%. It is planned to expand this to all company cars and cash allowance takers in 2008.

The in-vehicle sensor portion of the technology monitors 120 driver actions including speed; braking; acceleration; lane handling; and turning. Data is sent in a continuous stream to GreenRoad’s system where instant analysis of a driver’s performance is possible. Feedback is given to the driver through the dashboard-mounted display of green, amber and red lights or by optional SMS or Email messaging. To overcome employee concerns, functionality which would allow T-Mobile to identify high risk drivers is not currently switched on. While the dashboard lights give drivers immediate feedback if they carry out an “unsafe manoeuvre”, they are also encouraged to log on to their individual website weekly to analyse reports on their own driving. The “Safety Stars” incentive points-based programme rewards employees for improving the way they drive.

The trial has more than paid for itself. T-Mobile achieved a £417K saving in vehicle damage cost and a fuel consumption reduction of 3% (£20K) in a 12 month period. In addition, there were improvements to staff sickness rates and a significant reduction in the administrative work associated with processing road crash information. Overall, the technology has helped T-Mobile achieve a 49% reduction in vehicle repair costs in 2007 in comparison with its 2006 performance. The T-Mobile crash rate also fell by 20% over the same period. There was evidence that employees had modified their driving behaviour and the rate of “unsafe manoeuvres” per 10 hours of driving recorded by the system fell from 81 in 2006 to 41 in 2007.

Additional information

T-Mobile is a Driving for Better Business Champion and is represented on the Confederation of British Industry Health and Safety Advisory panel.

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