Fleets across the public, private and voluntary sectors are being urged to use a new online benchmarking tool to improve their at-work road safety, cut operating costs and boost business efficiency.
The tool is being delivered as a contribution to the work of the Occupational Road Safety Alliance (ORSA) by the team behind the Driving for Better Business (DfBB) campaign, with backing from the Department for Transport and in collaboration with a range of fleet-related organisations.
The free to use benchmarking tool, which will gather information on what processes are in place to manage work-related road safety from fleets of all types and sizes and measure their outcomes, is scheduled to be officially launched at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ (RoSPA) Road Safety Conference on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at the Holiday Inn, Stratford-upon-Avon.
A wide range of organisations have collaborated in the DfBB’s Fleet Safety Benchmarking Project including, the Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence programme, Interactive Driving Systems, RoSPA and TRL (Transport Research Laboratory), as well as Fleet Forum, an international interagency association whose focus includes sharing concerns about road safety and fleet efficiency.
Support has also come from the Australian National Road Safety Partnership Programme.
Adrian Walsh, director of RoadSafe which leads the government-backed DfBB, said: “Benchmarking can be a highly effective way of improving road safety in a corporate setting, knowing what is being done well helps to maintain momentum, but equally important is for fleet decision-makers to understand what can be done better.
“Identifying good practice comparing it across organisations is enormously valuable and encourages often simple but innovative solutions to what may appear to be complex problems. There is no doubt that by benchmarking, employers can develop sound business cases to identify where to invest to improve road safety.
“Participating organisations will be able to identify areas of concern and draw on the knowledge and expertise of other employers that are excelling in that particular aspect of safe fleet operation, thus helping to drive continuous improvement, innovation and promote a shared responsibility across work-related road safety.
“In developing the online tool, we have heard from numerous organisations that there is little understanding of where to start collecting road safety data, what information to collect and how best to analyse and interpret the information once they have it. This benchmarking solution is designed to assist these processes by proving standardised methods through a secure online platform.”
The new tool is a significant enhancement of Interactive Driving Systems’ Fleet Safety Gap Analysis, an online 10-question solution that allows fleets to benchmark their own responses against those of currently almost 1,400 participants providing an insight into the safety of an organisation’s vehicles and drivers and how they rank against others.
Rory Morgan, head of logistics support for Western Europe Iron Mountain, said: “Seeing where your fleet ranks against other operators provides targets to achieve and highlights where improvements can be made.”
Iron Mountain records every single vehicle incident, including stone chips, and 60% are low speed reversing. Last year the company recorded an average incident rate of 0.74 per vehicle.
Morgan, chairman of the governance committee of the Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence initiative, explained: “Trend analysis is an important aspect of benchmarking.
“Our priority in 2016 is to reduce the number of low speed reversing incidents. Other companies must be suffering similar incidents and some may have implemented solutions to solve the problem. Benchmarking promotes discussion and investigation and the sharing of best practice.
“Through benchmarking if you can see the categories where incidents happen - low speed reversing, car parks, at-fault, third party etc. - and compare your record with similar and different fleets then you have an idea of what best practice looks like and an action plan can be implemented.”
Morgan, a user of Interactive Driving Systems’ online benchmarking tool, added: “We believe we have a good incident record, but we are not and never will be complacent, improvements can always be made. Everyone is striving for zero incidents.”
Tracey Fuller, customer engagement manager and road safety ambassador at Arval, a long-time DfBB champion, has used Interactive Driving Systems’ benchmarking solution with customers.
“Benchmarking provides confirmation of road risk management performance versus other fleets and identifies areas of strengths and weakness,” she said.
“Participants can then engage in dialogue with their peers to learn how other organisations have tackled problem areas and then implement their own improvement action plans.”