DfBB welcomes AFI as new partners
The Association of Fencing Industries (AFI) has embraced the Driving for Better Business programme with the goal of improving fleet safety across the entire UK fencing industry. AFI represents the entire UK sector, including domestic, commercial and security fencing across all aspects of their operation. AFI executive administrator Jennifer Shail recognises that road transport is an essential part of AFI member operations – and the one carrying the highest risk of harm.
AFI has therefore embraced DfBB’s messaging platforms and resources and disseminates them to its entire industry. “Getting from A to B may not seem like a core activity but it is an essential part of fencing companies’ operations,” she says.
Improving fleet safety – Van Driver Toolkit
Jennifer says the DfBB offering has been “such as easy win for us. It’s full of relevant and useful information and helps improve safety.”
AFI has taken various steps to involve its members in the Driving for Better Business culture, and to share a continuous stream of road safety messages and intervention, including:
- A Driving for Better Business landing page with relevant links within the AFI website
- Sending a printed copy of the Van Driver Toolkit to every member, and printing more on demand
- Exploring plans to expand the Van Driver Toolkit to a resource for all vehicles in the future
- Sharing the blogs and case studies
“We have had very positive feedback from members, with 100 extra copies of the Van Driver Toolkit being requested. Many members want every employee to have a copy,” she says.
“We would also like to expand the resource to encompass other vehicles. Although the vast majority of the 600 vehicles in AFI fleets are vans, many companies have sales forces or employees who commute, and we’d like to offer them the same practical, valuable road safety information,” she says.
AFI members have been positive in their feedback, and are already seeing the benefits of DfBB resources, even beyond road safety. “One director commented that rolling this out through his staff helped employee morale and retention, because it proves the company’s commitment to staff welfare.”
Driver wellbeing – taking care of mental health
Jennifer says the AFI has specific concerns for member drivers beyond the fact that driving is the most dangerous thing they do in a day.
“We have a lot of lone workers, often in rural or vulnerable locations,” she says, underlining that this isolation can be an emotional as well as a physical risk. “We have started a mental health campaign, encouraging people to reach out and use our independent, confidential helpline.”
She says it is essential, in terms of improving fleet safety and overall wellbeing, that we abolish the sense of stigma or personal failure which stops many people discussing their mental health issues. In fact, speaking about mental health shows courage, rather than weakness. The Driving for Better Business CALM Driver resource offers free support and information for employers to share with their drivers.
Load Security – an ongoing issue
Load safety is also a specific and daily issue for fencing contractors.
Jennifer says the Driving for Better Business resources are relevant to all companies. “We aren’t keeping it to ourselves: we’ve been telling other trade associations and sectors about DfBB because everyone drives, so it is information we can all use.
“I don’t think we’ll ever stop using DfBB resources now,” she says.
Find out more about this free programme of support in reducing road risk for those who manage drivers here.