Digital network operator Openreach runs the second-largest vehicle fleet in the UK. Approximately 33,000 drivers and 27,000 commercial vehicles travel more than 220 million miles each year to connect homes, phone masts, businesses, and governments to the world.
After experiencing a rise in road traffic collisions involving its vehicles, Openreach focused on providing improved reporting and learning from these incidents to improve the safety of its fleet. It redesigned the classroom-based element of its driver training to make the process more interactive, including things like impairment goggles so recruits could experience the danger that this poses. Virtual reality technology was also introduced, and the output of each session is now shared with coaches prior to in-cab training so that it can be specifically tailored to individual drivers.
This enhanced training was complemented by a new speed awareness course that aimed to address a continued volume of speeding notices of intended prosecution (NIP) among Openreach’s staff. The course features a message from one of the organisation’s engineers who lost a child to a speeding driver, and is attended by anyone who receives a NIP.
The result of these measures is that for the first time ever, road safety has made it on to Openreach’s scorecard in its internal communications, focusing on an achieved reduction in road crashes. In particular, lost time incidents reduced by 49%, and category 4 collisions reduced by 22% when compared with the previous year. It sponsored Road Safety Week 2021, and continues to launch new campaigns including its new safety brand, ‘Work Safe, Home Safe’.
Openreach won the 2021 Company Driver Safety Award (Large Fleet) at the UK Fleet Champions Awards.
See more previous winners.