Fuel distribution hauliers have kicked off discussions over national pay benchmarking and the development of an industry-wide health and safety training standard for tanker drivers.

Talks are now taking place following a long-running tanker driver dispute in April/May, which saw conciliation service ACAS step in and table a set of proposals, including the creation of a set of working groups to establish best practice across the sector

Norbert Dentressangle (ND) Tankers is one of several major logistics firms involved in the working groups and MD Ann Dawson says: "Through the health and safety work group, we have also seen the reconvening of the UK Downstream Oil Distribution Forum (UKDODF), which is a positive step towards identifying best practice across the industry."

The UKDODF was revived after a five-year absence as a platform for stakeholders to meet, including haulage and energy firms, Skills for Logistics (SfL), the DfT and unions Unite and URTU. Its aim is to create well-documented, accredited and enforceable standards for drivers that all fuel distribution firms will adopt, with work expected to be completed by the end of the year.