CONSTRUCTION AND HIGHWAY SECTORS PUTTING THE BUSINESS INTO DRIVING FOR BETTER BUSINESS
The construction and highways sectors are collectively saving hundreds of thousands off their bottom line, simply by adopting a systematic approach to fleet and risk management with the help of the free, government-backed Driving for Better Business programme. The scheme has engaged with thousands of businesses, which collectively employ millions of staff, in its mission to improve the levels of compliance for those who drive or ride for work by demonstrating the significant benefits of managing work-related road risk more effectively.
Organisations in construction and road maintenance report 12 common measurable business benefits:
- Collisions/at-fault incident claims car/van
- Collisions/at-fault incident claims HGV
- Reduced speeding penalties?
- cost of maintenance
- Fleet utilisation
- Reduced fuel consumption
- Insurance premiums
- Insurance claims
- Public complaints
Some of their stories are shared – including the challenges they faced, how they met those challenges, and the benefits they’ve seen as a result of engaging with the free Driving for Better Business programme – on the DfBB website:
Balfour Beatty, which manages the road risk of around 12,000 drivers. Over the last 6 years the construction company reported their crash frequency rate fall by 63% – equivalent to £570,000 of annual benefits.
Amey, responsible for 11,000 drivers, reported at-fault incidents down 38% over 12 months from 1380 in 2016 to 89 in 2018
Tarmac, part of the CRH group, saw a decrease in speeding of 10% across all geographical areas (25% in the North and Scotland) and its insurance claims drop by 48%. A continued focus on risk management has seen insurance claims fall consistently year on year, from 589 in 2016/17 to 255 in 2019/20 – a reduction in claims of nearly 50%
Carnell, specialists in road maintenance, has some 280 operatives, 200 vehicles covering 4 million miles a year. It reports a reduction in annual insurance claims costs from £130,000 to £46,000 and the number of driver interventions – such as post-crash interviews and further training – down a staggering 85% over a 3-year period, significantly reducing the demands on admin and management time
WJ, the UK’s leading road marking reported all insurance claims down 15%; own fault claims down 20%; fuel use down 3.6%
Infrastructure specialists The Costain Group plc recognises the importance of managing Occupational Road Risk relating to its employees and the safety of all other road users, as seriously as any other business-related activity. Through its engagement with the Driving for Better Business scheme, it reports collisions down 17%; collision costs down 18%; fleet insurance premiums down 9%
Clancy Docwra is one of the largest privately-owned construction firms in the UK reported a saving of £65,000 on fuel, congestion charge fines down 76% and traffic offences down 59%
Others with case studies on the website include Colas, Skanska, Ringway, Toppesfield and Wilson & Scott.
According to the HSE, on average, each year, about 7 workers die from accidents involving vehicles or mobile plant on construction sites. A further 93 are seriously injured.
“The construction and highways industries are acutely aware of the risks on-site and for years now, have focused on eliminating hazards in the workplace,” says Simon Turner, Campaign Manager for Driving for Better Business. “Many are recognising that any vehicle becomes part of the workplace.
“Driving for work is one of the highest-risk activities that most employees undertake. It is also a significant cost to the business. Employers that manage this issue well have peace of mind that they are legally compliant, are regarded by staff as better places to work, and perform at a much higher level of efficiency than those that don’t.
“There is clearly a strong business case for managing work-related road safety. Fewer road incidents mean fewer days lost to injury; fewer repairs to vehicles with vehicles out of action; fewer missed orders and overall reduced running costs. Now is the time to become better informed and start getting the benefits of better practice.”
Dave Conway, Road Safety Manager at transport and construction company FM Conway, says: “If you are going to persuade a business to adopt these systems there needs to be a business case. Within the first year of adopting the system, we found ourselves with a £56,000 reduction in our fleet insurance premium. That’s a sound business case.”
Earlier this year, Driving for Better Business highlighted the important role of trade associations in raising awareness and setting standards of safety – particularly in the construction sector. Tippers and open-topped trucks are the vehicles most likely to have insecure loads. Often, the main cargo is stowed securely, then loose equipment such as tools, thrown in afterwards. Potholes, speed humps and uneven road surfaces can also cause loads to shift, affecting the vehicle’s braking and steering and making it more likely to turn over.
The British Aggregates Association (BAA) director of transport Mark Cowan said: “Load security is an important issue for the BAA. As well as supporting other industry initiatives, we recently launched our very own campaign to help raise awareness around load security.”
For more on the business case for reducing road risk in organisations, visit https://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com/business-benefits/
Listen to the podcast Safe loading – where do fleet operators get it wrong? https://dfbb.podbean.com/e/nina-day/
DfBB has a range of practical, free-to-access resources for the construction sector on safe loading:
Driving a van: weight limits and loading
Load security: good practice
Load security: roles and responsibilities
Load securing: vehicle operator guidance
Load security: consequences of poor load security
Load security: how DVSA enforces the rules
Ratchet straps: What you need to know
Securing loads on flatbed vehicles
Media contact: Hadstrong https://hadstrong.com/ Becky Hadley on 07733 054839
About Driving for Better Business
Driving for work is one of the highest-risk activities that many employees undertake, whether they drive a commercial vehicle, a company car or make occasional work journeys in their own vehicle. As the gig economy continues to grow, this also means those who ride for work as well as those who drive.
Driving for Better Business is a free to access government-backed Highways England programme, delivered in partnership with RoadSafe, to help employers in the private and public sectors reduce work-related road risk, protecting staff who drive or ride for work, and others who they may share the road with.
Our mission is to improve the levels of compliance for all those who drive or ride for work by sharing good practice and demonstrating the significant business benefits of managing work-related road risk more effectively.