Many UK companies are managing road risks "inconsistently and in some cases poorly"

A safety manager has said many companies are managing the risks of drivers on company business “inconsistently and in some cases poorly” which is a risk to themselves and other road users.
Tony Ashford from civil engineering and construction contractor Alun Griffiths Contractors made an approach to leading independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart. This was to put all 130 drivers within its rail division through a programme which will identify individual driver risk ratings then provide targeted learning modules and practical coaching.
He is so pleased with the product that following this successful programme the intention is to extend this proactive approach to all other divisions of Alun Griffiths, which would take in more than 500 additional drivers.
Driving for Better Business says that one-third of accidents on UK roads involve drivers on work duties (reference 1).
Commenting on the overall picture of road safety management by companies in the UK in the run up to Road Safety Week (21-27 November), he said: “Today’s working environment demands more and more from us all which, at times, can lead to inappropriate behaviours – use of hands-free mobile phones, exceeding the speed limit, driving for long periods without appropriate rest, inadequate training, fatigue and the like.
“Although, in the majority of cases, these are not deliberate violations people sometimes do the wrong things for what they feel are the right reasons – it takes demonstrable leadership and discipline by all to ensure that the correct driving behaviours and awareness are maintained at all times.”
Abergavenny-based Alun Griffiths, which works on a large number of rail projects, has started to use IAM RoadSmart’s Virtual Risk Manager programme this week, initially to senior managers before being rolled out to the entire rail division.
Tony, who is health, safety, environmental and quality manager for Alun Griffiths explained: “In my job I have to assess risk, and we have many drivers who work early and late shifts and are on the roads at unusual hours. It was important for the company to ensure those journeys are made in the safest way possible.”
He said: “Both the emotional and financial costs to families, businesses and the wider community of an accident are catastrophic. We, as a responsible employer have clear legislative duties to manage occupational road risk in the same way as we manage other health and safety risks to ensure that our people are not hurt in any way.”
He added that Alun Griffiths’ involvement with IAM RoadSmart is a long term partnership with an aligned and ongoing vision to ensure the company provides a suitable risk management framework together with an effective learning platform that will provide the safest possible driving environment.
Tony said: “I approached IAM RoadSmart because of the great reputation it has in this area and how their aspirations align with our goals.”
In parallel with IAM RoadSmart’s learning modules, Alun Griffiths will be using telematics systems which will report back to line managers any minor collisions, scrapes or hard use.
Tony said: “Using the roads is a necessary part of our working lives. But it’s an ordinary activity that can lead to an unacceptable level of injury and fatalities. Our Greater Education and Awareness of Roadrisk (GEAR) programme consisting of identification, instruction, early management intervention and education. This will provide our drivers with the tools and support to ensure that they are as best prepared as they can be, reducing the probability of being involved in a Road Traffic Collision to its lowest level.
We care about our people and improving the safety of working environment is a key function of the Alun Griffiths Rail management team.”
For more information about IAM RoadSmart products for business use visit: