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Air Products

Air Products set itself the ambitious goal of being the safest industrial gas company, with a target of zero accidents and incidents and a philosophy that all accidents are preventable. It has 353 drivers and 278 vehicles making approximately 220,000 deliveries a year to customers ranging from large industrial sites to small leisure facilities.

The firm upgraded its fleet to reduce incidents when manoeuvring in tight space or navigating city centres by introducing a customised system of cameras, sensors and audible warnings for drivers. With 85% of preventable vehicle accidents previously being a result of slow speed manoeuvring, this upgrade was designed to help reach the target of zero accidents and incidents.

Our judges said Air Products had done comprehensive work on important and often forgotten low-speed safety and was making “good use of technology” to achieve its “very ambitious target”.

Balfour Beatty Plant and Fleet Services

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Driven by its Zero harm ethos, Balfour Beatty has used technology to improve the safety of employees who drive for work, an approach that has since been followed by many other large fleet operators.

Balfour Beatty operates a large fleet of vehicles that includes 750 HGVs and 2,000 LCVs. Of its 14,000-strong workforce, 9,500 drive on company business but including partners Balfour Beatty is managing the road risk of approximately 12,000 drivers. Its 'Zero harm' policy means no injury, ill health or incident caused by work activities. In practice, this involved introducing a driver risk management system that includes a permit to drive scheme and driver behaviour telematics using a key fob, registered to each driver, allowing the company to identify who was driving a vehicle and how they were performing.

Judges said Balfour Beatty was taking a holistic approach and was making “clever use of data management and technology to handle a large, complex group of drivers in a variety of vehicles”.

Bibby Distribution

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In 2019 Bibby Distribution had its safest year on record, beating its already ambitious targets, as a result of the cultural shift across the entire business 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 cut by 36% and lost time accidents by 39%.

A manual handling training course was completed by 70 trainers and manual handling incidents were reduced by 10%.

Slips, trips and falls were reduced by 17% following a focused campaign and targeted training courses. On the road, at-fault vehicle accidents dropped by more than a fifth.

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”. “The results speak for themselves,” said one judge.

O’Donovan Waste Disposal

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O’Donovan is one of London’s leading family-run waste-management companies, specialising in construction and demolition waste. With six depots, 100 HGVs and 185 employees, the company puts the safety of all road users at the core of its operations and has a robust safety strategy in place called ‘Safety above and beyond’.

Staff are focussed on and take ownership of the role they perform in ensuring that safety is not just a priority but is second nature. A bespoke operations management system is in place allowing driver behaviour to be monitored in real time, flagging incidents such as harsh braking or acceleration. This allows training needs to be identified immediately and reports are collated for a weekly driver league table that celebrates safe and efficient driving.

Judges said the entry showed “impressive results from a growing company that has a passion for safer driving, right from the top”.

RT Keedwell Group and H+H Celcon

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RT Keedwell and H+H Celcon send more than 150 loads of bricks and blocks a day from two UK sites and the two companies recognised a significant risk to personnel in the loading operations. To reduce this risk, all loading configurations were redesigned with the assistance of the HSE to eliminate the use of wooden spacers that drivers had previously put in place while working at height.

In the five months after the system went live, the internal reporting system confirmed that there were no significant load shifts. The elimination of the need to work at height on site has had the added benefit of greatly reducing the ergonomic risk of drivers having to climb over loads and manually handle pallets and spacers.

Judges said the initiative “challenged conventional methods of operational process” and showed a “holistic approach, with input from all level of employees, creating a new method of loading and security with a reduction of risk”.