Health & Safety Event Awards 2024,

David Phillips Furniture Ltd has been announced as the winner of the Best Driver Risk Management Performance at the Safety & Health Excellence Awards. It beat strong competition from major multinationals and organisations in construction, utilities, insurance and public transport. In shortlisting the winner and those highly commended, judges were looking for clear, quantifiable, simply explained submissions, and evidence of improvements that have delivered measurable business benefits, such as a reduction in collisions, leading to lower insurance premiums or improved fuel economy reducing costs.

David Phillips Furniture wins top driver risk management award

David Phillips Furniture delivers, assembles and installs furnishings for rent, residential, social, student and retirement living markets. It has a fleet of 42 diesel Luton 3.5-ton vans. Drivers cover long distances on motorways and A roads followed by deliveries to towns and cities and has scheduling managers who plan routes in advance. The company reported more than 50% reduction in collisions and average fleet maintenance costs have been cut from £1700 to £1100 per vehicle per year – plus a saving of £28,000 per year on hire costs. Lower insurance premiums mean a saving of approximately £10,000.

Judges were impressed at how the installation of telematics and improvements in near-miss reporting, among a series of other driver risk management initiatives, helped this successful small business achieve an impressive 53% reduction in on-road collisions over the previous year. Additional business benefits from safer driving included average maintenance costs coming down by a third from £1700 to £1100 per vehicle, fleet insurance coming down by 12.5% saving the business a further £10,000, as well as a 19% reduction in fuel use.


Highly Commended: NorthernPowergrid

Northern Powergrid manages the electricity network for more than 8 million people across 3.9 million homes and businesses in the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire. Its fleet is mixed, including 49 HGVs, around 1500 vans and 1213 grey fleet cars, covering a total business mileage of 15,322,819.

The organisation classifies collisions on their preventability and uses a telematics score dashboard shared with the management team of every fleet driver on a weekly basis.

Although mileage increased by 642,749 from 2022 to 2023, the utility reduced preventable collisions by 10.78% over the period. The company collects information at the point of incident/collision, which reduced incident reporting time dramatically. This has reduced collision costs by 11%, a cost saving of £234,010.

Judges were impressed at the already extremely high standards, and how strong management commitment was continuing to deliver further incremental improvements year on year.


Highly Commended: Willmott Dixon Holdings

This is a British, privately-owned, contracting and interior fit-out group. Its fleet comprises 1,500 grey fleet drivers, 600 company cars, and 600 van drivers.
The company adopts a proactive approach to addressing driver risk, recognised by employees as a mandatory health and safety requirement. The Driver policy and handbook are reviewed annually and can be viewed at any time. Driver risk manager training is provided to HR teams Group wide; new EV and van drivers are provided with on-road familiarisation; and regular updates and advice are issued to the whole company, such as on winter driving and highway code changes.

Judges were impressed with the driver induction and training programmes which have improved overall driver risk scores by around 35%. The subsequent reduction in collisions has saved 200 hours per year in claims management time.


The Best Driver Risk Management Performance Award was created to recognise employers who have taken a proactive, comprehensive, and consistent approach to the management of their work-related road risk. Safer drivers are involved in fewer incidents, cause less damage, less wear and tear on company vehicles and use less fuel, which is currently a critical issue for many organisations. As well as a significant reduction in on-road incidents, submissions had to demonstrate a range of other business benefits such as reductions in fleet insurance costs, maintenance costs, fuel spend and emissions. They may also be able to demonstrate tangible improvements in driver wellbeing and safety culture. They will have shown exceptional initiative, boldness, and exemplary management practices.

Through the award, National Highways seeks to broaden awareness of the importance of managing work-related road risk with employers, and specifically health and safety professionals. Driving for work is one of the highest-risk activities that most employees undertake. It is also a significant cost to the business. National Highways’ own Driving for Better Business programme, which is entirely free to access, shares many examples of good practice along with a library of free resources including a free driving for work policy builder, to help employers gain peace of mind that their driving for work policies are legally compliant, are regarded as better places to work, and perform at a higher level of efficiency than those that don’t.

Mark Sennett, CEO of Western Business Media the publisher of Health and Safety Matters says: “This is still a new category for us, so it has been astonishing to see the number of submissions and the diversity of sectors these companies represent. It’s vitally important that organisations take steps to protect employees who drive or ride for work. We support the vision of safely managing work-related road risks and this award is aimed at celebrating those that have made a significant contribution to that aim.”



Simon Turner

Simon Turner
Campaign Manager
Driving for Better Business

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