That’s the view of safety manager Tony Ashford from civil engineering and construction contractor Alun Griffiths Contractors, who is urging more fleets to take a proactive and consistent approach to road risk management.
Commenting on the overall picture of road safety management by companies in the UK in the run up to Road Safety Week (21-27 November), he said: “Today’s working environment demands more and more from us all which, at times, can lead to inappropriate behaviours – use of hands-free mobile phones, exceeding the speed limit, driving for long periods without appropriate rest, inadequate training, fatigue and the like.
“Although, in the majority of cases, these are not deliberate violations people sometimes do the wrong things for what they feel are the right reasons – it takes demonstrable leadership and discipline by all to ensure that the correct driving behaviours and awareness are maintained at all times.”
His comments come as Alun Griffiths Contractors deploys a road risk programme from IAM RoadSmart.
The business is currently putting all 130 drivers within its rail division through IAM RoadSmart’s Virtual Risk Manager programme, which will identify individual driver risk ratings then provide targeted learning modules and practical coaching. The intention is to extend this proactive approach to all other divisions of Alun Griffiths, which would take in more than 500 additional drivers.
Tony, who is health, safety, environmental and quality manager for Alun Griffiths, explained: “In my job I have to assess risk, and we have many drivers who work early and late shifts and are on the roads at unusual hours. It was important for the company to ensure those journeys are made in the safest way possible.”
He said: “Both the emotional and financial costs to families, businesses and the wider community of an accident are catastrophic. We, as a responsible employer have clear legislative duties to manage occupational road risk in the same way as we manage other health and safety risks to ensure that our people are not hurt in any way.”
In parallel with IAM RoadSmart’s learning modules, Alun Griffiths will be using telematics systems which will report back to line managers any minor collisions, scrapes or hard use.
Ashford said: “Using the roads is a necessary part of our working lives. But it’s an ordinary activity that can lead to an unacceptable level of injury and fatalities. Our Greater Education and Awareness of Roadrisk (GEAR) programme consisting of identification, instruction, early management intervention and education. This will provide our drivers with the tools and support to ensure that they are as best prepared as they can be, reducing the probability of being involved in a Road Traffic Collision to its lowest level.
“We care about our people and improving the safety of working environment is a key function of the Alun Griffiths Rail management team.”