By the WJ team
Every year, in November, Brake, the road safety charity, runs its biggest annual campaign for Road Safety Week. The theme for 2022 is “Safe Roads for All.”
Throughout the week, organisations, schools, and communities are encouraged to:
- THINK about how we can all use roads safely to protect ourselves and others.
- UNDERSTAND how safe roads enable everyone to make safe and healthy journeys.
- REMEMBER road crash victims and share their stories.
For this year’s campaign at WJ, we want to highlight why safety is not only one of our core values, but our utmost priority and what we did to win this year’s Fleet Safety Innovation Award at the UK Fleet Champions Awards, sponsored by Brake, and how other companies can implement this to improve safety within their own organisations.
Safety is one of our core values and our number one priority. Whatever region of the UK our staff happens to be working in or maybe just traveling through we consider ourselves part of that community. As such we have a responsibility to behave in a way that respects that community and ideally through best practice to try in some simple way to enhance it.
Over the years, WJ has significantly improved operational safety through redesigned vehicles, extensive training, enhanced PPE, new technology, FORS accreditation, and many other initiatives.
However, working in the highway industry and regularly traveling across the country, we recognised that driving is one of the primary risks not only to our own workforce but also to our colleagues and other road users. Therefore, we identified that the most effective way we could improve safety was by improving driver behaviour.
An Innovative Solution
To do this, we implemented a “driver behaviour” scheme that enabled us to accurately review each driver’s performance and combine it with ongoing and significant rewards to maintain standards.
We used our vehicle telematics system, which measures drivers’ performance by analysing acceleration, speed, braking, driving style, fuel consumption, daily vehicle checks for compliance, and various other metrics. From these metrics, we grade drivers into three performance bands: 0%–84.9% is red (underperforming), 85%–89.9% is amber (average), and 90%–100% is green (good).
Using this, we award the top 3 and most improved drivers from each depot with monthly and yearly bonuses. The winners are published on our internal social media platform, Yammer, to maintain awareness of the scheme among everyone.
The system enables us to measure monthly improvements in behaviour across the group and identify trends, issues, or underperforming individuals so we can target training and messaging to raise standards. Doing this enables us to focus on all our drivers, rather than high performers, to improve everyone’s behaviour.
Since introducing the scheme, we have seen significant improvements. When we began, the average performance across the group was 87.58%; our most recent scores showed it is now at 95.17%, a massive improvement!
This has resulted in a 40% reduction in the number of accidents we have had and a 44.87% decrease in the costs associated with these accidents since its implementation. Additionally, the improvement in driver behaviour has led to a 68% reduction in the maintenance of tyres, brakes, clutches, and driveline. It has also resulted in substantial environmental benefits with a 7.75% reduction in emissions related to driving, and a 12% increase in MPG.
WJ Group Transport Manager Scott Logan commented “The scheme has been a great success all round, not only has it delivered significant benefits for the business, it gives all our drivers something to strive towards and when we announced the first year’s results it generated a massive amount of interest around the group.”
Overall, our driver behaviour scheme has not only significantly increased safety but also reduced costs and delivered environmental benefits. In October, we are proud to say that our scheme was recognised by Brake at the 2022 Fleet Champion Awards, winning the Fleet Safety Innovation Award for our pioneering approach. We are now presenting this across the industry, allowing other organisations to replicate the success we have had and making the roads safe for all.