Since April 2019, Wigan-based Link Contracting, a nationwide construction and maintenance contractor working with major clients such as Co-op, Tesco and Well Pharmacies, has used IAM RoadSmart’s e-learning portal, Choices, and on-road training packages for all its new and existing drivers. We speak to Head of Health & Safety, Simon Jones about the game-changing results
How important is driver training to your business?
Business driving used to be a big risk for us, based on the number of vans we have on the road, and the number of incidents and claims we were seeing. We looked at various options to develop our ‘driving for work’ strategy, including better management of existing telematics systems – to encourage better standards through monthly reporting – and the introduction of eyesight tests. But we wanted to go further.
How did your relationship with IAM RoadSmart develop?
We approached IAM RoadSmart at H&S North in Manchester in October 2018, and began the programme in April 2019. We quickly adapted our ‘driving for work’ policy to encompass the IAM RoadSmart training proposal, and set out a wholly revised induction programme that now sees all new starters complete a bespoke mix of Choices e-learning packages within their first two days of employment. Our core e-learning package is built around three key modules: speed awareness, avoiding rear-end collisions, and vehicle safety checks. Based on our data analysis we’d identified these as being the key causes of collisions.
How many of your drivers have received IAM RoadSmart training? And have you made any other procedural changes?
To date, 126 of our 150 drivers have completed the programme. We monitor all scores and feedback, and escalate our high-risk drivers for additional on-the-road training with an approved IAM RoadSmart instructor. Our low- and medium-risk drivers are proactively monitored for other flags such as road traffic offence notices, complaints and telematics data to give us a better insight into our risk profile. Throughout 2019 we also introduced vehicle checklists and developed a robust digital vehicle audit process for our fleet.
“THE BUSINESS GAINED TWO HEALTH AND SAFETY AWARDS IN 2019, AND OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH IAM ROADSMART DIRECTLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS”
Kelly Cassidy from Link's H&S team
Has the training produced immediate results for you?
We’ve seen a significant reduction in vehicle collisions and subsequent claims. In the autumn of 2019, our fleet insurance policy was due for renewal. Following the submission of a report based upon these changes and the improvements they showed, the business was granted a significant 11 per cent reduction in premium. The business was also successful in gaining two prestigious health and safety awards in 2019, and our partnership with IAM RoadSmart directly contributed to this.
Has it had a positive effect on the business?
Throughout 2019 the business has grown in size from 98 staff to 162, including our 150 drivers, and we’ve secured a significant contract with the Co-op. We’re now recognised as a key strategic partner for the delivery of its ‘Tech in a Van’ model of working. Our health and safety performance, including our ‘driving for work’ strategy, was a key point in our tender submission.
Ian Walker from Link's H&S team
How would you sum up the experience of working with IAM RoadSmart?
It’s been a brilliant project to be part of. The feedback from our people has been fantastic, and we are proud to be working with IAM RoadSmart. On a personal note – and as a former police officer – I have seen first-hand the impact of when things go wrong on the road, so to get this right is very important to me, as well as to the business.
LINK CONTRACTING IN NUMBERS
reduction in insurance premium in first 12 months
significant health and safety awards in 2019 as a result of IAM RoadSmart partnership
reduction in collisions and claims
vehicles in the fleet
of new starters undertake IAM RoadSmart CHOICES e-learning within first two days of employment
From RoadSmart magazine, Spring 2020
With the right mindset, embedding a worthwhile fleet safety strategy can be very straightforward, especially when supported by an integrated risk management system. Take a look at our CHOICES portal and see how easy it is to manage your drivers’ licence checks, risk assessments and e-learning all in one place.