Fleet News

New training plan as BT loses £18m on bumps

AN investigation into causes of vehicle damage at Britain’s biggest fleet has sparked a major new initiative after it revealed parking bumps were costing £18 million a year. Telecommunications giant BT is introducing a special parking and manoeuvring initiative in mid-October, following the discovery.

The initiative, which is called ‘Let’s get backing control’, is being organised for BT by risk management specialist Peak Performance and will take place at 20 different BT regional centres throughout the UK.

About 480 drivers are expected to take part during the week of October 18 to 22, which coincides with European Health and Safety Week.

The initiative may then be extended for a further week depending on demand. The ‘Let’s get backing control’ week will apply to drivers of cars, car-derived vans and panel vans from BT’s fleet of 55,000 vehicles, who will be using their own company vehicles for the event.

It will cover four low speed parking and manoeuvring exercises. At the same time, drivers will also be able to undergo special online eyesight assessments provided by North London University as part of a pilot scheme which could then be rolled out across the company.

BT group safety adviser Dave Wallington said the scheme was a specific intervention recommended by the company’s Motor Risk Forum, which brings together heads of health and safety from BT’s different lines of business, plus driver training specialist Peak Performance.

Wallington said: ‘We felt that, with current levels of accident repair costs from parking and manoeuvring, we needed to put in place a specific initiative to address the issue.’ Les Hammond, director of risk management at Peak Performance, said the initiative was aimed at helping reduce the number of parking and manoeuvring incidents.

He added: ‘We will use a total of 16 trainers during the week for the ‘Let’s get backing control’ initiative, who will offer advice and guidance to drivers taking part in the special exercises to try and improve their parking and manoeuvring techniques.’

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