Fleet News

Course targets risk reduction

THE danger of young employees driving vans for the first time has led BT Openreach to embark on a groundbreaking driver training programme.

Up to 100 apprentices in the BT division aged between 17 and 20 have been sent on driver training to ensure they are aware of risks on the road and to familiarise them with driving an LCV.

The young apprentices had never driven an LCV before the course.

Training was provided by Peak Performance and held over a week at BT’s Yarnfield Park training ground in Staffordshire, where they were able to drive the vehicles under controlled conditions.

The initiative is timely as it coincides with the launch of Road Safety Week, which this year majors on young drivers.

Taking place next week and run by road safety charity Brake, Road Safety Week offers practical advice to young people about staying safe on the roads.

Openreach health and safety development manager John Griffiths said: ‘The apprentices who took part in this new LCV training were identified by us as high risk due to their inexperience and lack of knowledge of LCV driving.

‘BT has an absolute duty of care to provide our modern apprentices with training in this respect, in what is most likely to be the highest risk activity they will undertake in their work for BT.

‘This new training initiative allows us to meet that duty of care.’

The course also included a workshop to identify the risks associated with LCV driving and to explain how they differ from other road vehicles.

Practical training also included parking and manoeuvring, reversing, practical vehicle safety and loading and unloading.

Les Hammond, director of risk management at Peak Performance, said: ‘The new course is seen as an integral component of BT’s occupational road risk strategy which seeks to control the costs associated with vehicle damage and personal injury related to driving at work within BT Openreach.’

  • Fleets wanting more details on Road Safety Week should visit www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk.
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