Fleet News

Building services firm slashes accident rate

A MAJOR risk assessment programme launched by a building services company has seen its accident rate reduced by hundreds of incidents every year.

London-based Planned Maintenance Engineering has 1,100 drivers who provide a 24-hour callout to 40,000 properties.

Four years ago, it logged more than 800 incidents involving staff annually, but now the company has reduced that number to 220 a year, with half of those non-fault crashes.

Much of its driving is through towns to call-outs from customers and many of its incidents are ‘shunts’, which can cause minor injuries that require time off work, such as stiff necks.

It launched a workshop and practical risk assessment programme, which is still ongoing, to make staff aware of potential hazards on the road and has reduced its accident rate by 72% as a result. Company bosses say they have put in place procedures to better manage how call-outs are answered, such as ensuring the nearest staff member to the job is used.

Its achievement in reducing the number of accidents involving company drivers has won it the managing occupational road risk (MORR) award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

RoSPA said the award is part of a new scheme to recognise the efforts made by businesses and organisations to reduce deaths and injuries on UK roads.

Planned Maintenance Engineering has 15 branches throughout the UK and Ireland and has a fleet of nearly 1,000 vehicles – mostly cars and some vans – covering more than one million miles a year.

A spokesman for the company said: ‘Although most of the accidents were minor ones it still caused some people to have time off work through injury and of course it means vehicles are off the road while being repaired.’

Charles Davis, RoSPA head of driver and fleet solutions said: ‘We were particularly impressed by the way it has integrated the management of occupational road risk into its mainstream health and safety policies.

‘There is a commitment throughout the company to issues such as training, monitoring and accident investigation.’

The company’s health and safety director Richard Groves said: ‘We are honoured to receive this award and are continuing to develop our MORR strategies so that all our drivers will have a specific risk assessment coupled with appropriate training developed by the in-house health and safety team.’

Low-speed shunt risk

LAST week, Fleet NewsNet revealed how low-speed accidents like rear-end shunts at just 10mph pose the greatest risk to fleet drivers as poor vehicle design has made whiplash the most common road-related injury in the UK.

Experts estimate that 25% of the £6 billion spent by motor vehicle insurers each year goes on personal injury payments.

They believe about 90% of those are whiplash, equivalent to an annual £1.2 billion bill. In comparison, about 70% of the £6 billion goes on ‘bumpers and bonnets’.

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