Driving for Better Business held a breakfast briefing session at the Safer Highways UK conference, part of Highways UK on the 8th November at Birmingham NEC.

Our keynote address for this session was presented by Lucy Fell, the Director for Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Highways England.

Safer Highways is a conference specifically developed for contractors working in the highways sector and covers all aspects of health, safety and wellbeing. With this in mind, it was the perfect place for Lucy to announce that Highways England were now looking for all contractors in their supply chain to ensure they were managing their Work-Related Road Safety well and in line with guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

There were two key objectives for this initiative:

  1. All of the main contractors need to ensure their staff are consistently compliant with all road risk policies including vehicle defect checks, drivers hours and fatigue, overloading of commercial vehicles, drugs and alcohol, phone distraction, etc. They also need to ensure that their policies apply to ALL drivers and not just those working on sites. As part of this Lucy explained that all the main contractors will be required to work towards becoming Driving for Better Business Champions – not an easy task by any means, but one that focuses these contractors on tightening everything up.
  2. The main contractors must also ensure that their own supply chains are operating in a manner compliant with HSE guidance. This means, for example, that they need to have a comprehensive Driving at Work policy in place and a regular licence checking regime in place. Lucy stressed that as far as Highways England was concerned, no contractor was welcome in their supply chain if they were operating without the basics of a solid road-risk management system in place.

This is a really strong objective that Highways England should be applauded for and sets the bar high for how other major companies should look to manage their supply chains.

You can watch Lucy’s presentation below.

[arve url=”https://youtu.be/Iwhr-pZ0_Dk” /]

This presentation was followed by Colin Knight, Fleet Safety and Compliance Manager at Clancy Group, a Highways England Tier 2 contractor and our latest business champion. Colin presented an excellent case study of how Clancy manage their road risk, and the excellent benefits they have seen including a 20% drop in at-fault collisions in just 12 months. Clancy were an excellent example of the standards that Tier 1 contractors should be expecting from all their suppliers.

Finally we had a presentation from Mark Cartwright, Head of Vans at the FTA and manager of the Van Excellence accreditation scheme, outlining some of the key benefits that can be had in terms of providing confidence and credibility to clients and stakeholders by managing fleet-risk well.

Overall the session was very well received by those present and created quite an impact in the industry with many contractors who weren’t able to attend seeking more information afterwards. Tier 2 and Tier 3 contractors in the Highways England supply chain should at the very least be looking to meet the requirements of the Driving for Better Business Commitment.