MT editor Steve Hobson, Bibby Distribution fleet and procurement director Adam Purshall, and European sales director of sponsor VisionTrack Vernon Bonser

In 2019 Bibby Distribution had its safest year on record as a result of the cultural shift that has instilled ‘safety first’.

Bibby’s 2019 achievements included reducing accidents by a third and recording its lowest-ever number of lost-time and reportable incidents. While the target reduction was 10%, reportable incidents were actually reduced by 36% and lost-time accidents by 39%. A manual handling training course was completed by 70 trainers and incidents were down 10%. Slips, trips and falls have reduced by 17%. On the road, ‘at fault’ vehicle accidents dropped by more than a fifth.

The company’s approach to safety places a heavy emphasis on openness and team empowerment. It also held its fourth annual health and safety conference and the second annual driver of the year awards, recognising safe driving.

The importance the company places on health and safety is shown by the fact that head of SHEQ Andrew Mawson reports directly into CEO Richard Morson. Mawson’s team includes four dedicated safety, health, environment and quality (SHEQ) managers, a driver training manager and five driver trainers. It has invested £1m on in-cab cameras as well as telematics across the fleet, and has its own bespoke software, accident incident recording system (AIRS).

Bibby introduced a cultural drive across the entire business called ‘Come home safe’. This campaign was designed to “instil a proactive safety focus among all staff by highlighting the importance of families, pets and outside work interests”, and underline that every team member has a responsibility to protect their colleagues on a daily basis.

Our judges were particularly impressed by the excellent results delivered by Bibby’s approach to safety and praised the “full commitment from top-level management”.

Another called Bibby’s entry “a very strong submission based on a long-term strategy driving along a road to zero in a number of areas, including safety”. Judges commented on the amount of evidence backing up the results. “There appears to be no desire to rest on their laurels,” said one.

"I’m delighted to receive the award and gain recognition for the team that’s put so much effort into it. I put it down to collaboration, team work and everybody being engaged and working together towards a common goal. It reflects on the values of our business."

Adam Purshall