Fleet News

Safety policy pays dividends for DSM

A DRIVER training and risk management regime has led to a 30% reduction in insurance costs for a Midlands-based fleet. Paul Chancellor, business support manager at DSM UK, told delegates at an At Work Road Safety conference that the company's fleet accident rate fell from one in 80,000 miles to one in 550,000 miles.

He said the UK branch of the international petro-chemical company employs 60 people at its Redditch headquarters with 30 home-based sales staff using company cars and 10 occasional drivers who used their own or hire cars. Drivers cover 1.2 million miles every year, including private mileage, and DSM UK introduced a risk management strategy in 1996 to help cut accident rates.

Chancellor said: 'Management commitment is vital to any programme, including driver training, with the MD taking part in all activities. All our cars must reach at least a three-star rating in Euro NCAP tests and be fitted with airbags and ABS. We use large cars to ensure occupants are better protected, and make sure they are high specification to help give the drivers pride of ownership, to reduce the risk of damage.'

He added that DSM held training for its drivers annually, and is different for each driver and depends on the type of incidents they have been involved in. New employees are trained on their first day, and although there was no formal test, the training included a scoring system. DSM UK's accident rate fell from 15 in 1991 to two in 2000. Chancellor said: 'We have achieved a 30% reduction in insurance premiums, which has more than paid for the training costs.'

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