About 100 employees, from van drivers collecting milk samples from cattle farms to the organisation’s directors, are involved in the programme.
Tracey Firth, NMR’s senior administrator, is responsible for the fleet of 60 company car drivers, 20 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van drivers and about 20 staff members driving their own cars or hire vehicles.
Firth said: ‘We do not have a significant accident record and we are not aware of our driving staff breaking the law. However, many of our drivers are women and they work in rural areas driving along country lanes and narrow farm tracks and often feel isolated. We identified that driving is one of the most high-risk jobs we ask our employees to undertake and is, in many cases, a major part of their work. As an employer we have a duty of care to ensure that our staff are looked after.’
NMR has worked with driver training firm DriveTech (UK) for two years. DriveTech put each driver through a CD-ROM risk assessment test, followed by a series of workshops and on-road training.
Firth added: ‘While we hope there will be some cost benefits, that is not the reason for embarking on the initiative. We have a duty to look after all our employees.’