Case study: Babcock

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Many businesses employ light commercial vehicle drivers located around the country who don’t have access to computers.

It can make implementing any type of occupational road driving programme difficult.

But one business with 800 van drivers working out of 65 locations nationwide has overcome the hurdle by adopting a seemingly unique approach through toolbox talks using a series of five- to seven-minute videos in which its own drivers star and key safety issues are highlighted.

Working in partnership with Drive Smarter, a specialist training solutions provider, Babcock Infrastructure, a division of the leading engineering support services organisation, has launched its new safer driving programme as part of its Home Safe Every Day philosophy.

The programme has four themed toolbox talks delivered quarterly over 12 months concluding in the first half of 2013.

Each toolbox talk lasts 20-30 minutes and is composed of a five to seven minute video and a discussion based on the video. It concludes with a 10-question multiple choice quiz.

The themes of the specially-shot four videos, which feature Babcock drivers and vehicles with an introduction by a director or senior manager, are:

  • Slow speed manoeuvring and reversing The majority of the unit’s incidents are classed as ‘avoidable low speed and reversing’ resulting in particular in bumper and wing damage. Reducing such incidents will cut repair costs, vehicle downtime and replacement vehicle hire charges.
  • The rules of the road Highlighting key aspects of the Highway Code as well as Babcock’s own driving procedures such as a ban on mobile phone use.
  • Hazards and distractions Drivers encounter three types of hazards when driving: physical road features such as junctions and bends; the position and movement of other road users; and weather conditions. Good observation gives drivers more time to react to potential hazards. The video also focuses on driver fatigue and distractions.
  • COAST The concept focuses on Care, Observation and Anticipation giving Space and Time when driving. Babcock says a good driver will be observant, will anticipate and will be ‘a true ambassador for the company’.

Angus Beveridge, assurance director at Babcock Infrastructure, says in the introduction to the first video: “The safer driving programme is a key component in making sure that everyone goes home safe every day.

“We were keen to build in plenty of opportunity for open discussion and debate, rather than creating something and telling everyone, ‘this is how it’s going to be’.

The opportunity to share personal experiences is likely to be just as important a part of the programme as the more formal components.”

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