British Gypsum is to mandate that all subcontractors entering its customers’ sites hold Fors silver status within the next 12 months.

The building materials manufacturer is a Clocs champion. It uses three Fors gold level lead-hauliers to manage its five sites – Ceva Logistics, DHL and John Jempson & Sons. However, it is looking to extend this safety focus throughout its transport supply chain.

To help its smallest subbies, British Gypsum has spent the past year educating them in the benefits of achieving Fors and supporting them through the process of gaining accreditation.

“You need to be able to explain to a smaller subbie who may only be doing two or three loads a week [for British Gypsum] what the financial benefit is for gaining Fors,” said Brian Fisher, British Gypsum distribution manager.

He said that this is becoming much easier as the construction sector increasingly looks to specify Fors silver accreditation – which is aligned to Clocs compliance – as the de facto standard for vehicles entering sites.

The firm has so far helped 40 subbies begin their Fors journey. “They then started progressing towards Fors bronze over the past 12 months – we’ve even got a couple up to Fors silver already. The rest will be there by October next year,” Fisher said.

He said it is essential that large firms employing operators, such as British Gypsum, take the lead in ensuring smaller subcontractors get the support to achieve higher safety standards.

“These smaller firms are unlikely to go to an event about it [Fors] as they will lose a day’s driving and wages, so we have an obligation as does everyone else who runs large fleets,” said Fisher.