Road traffic collisions are recognised within the fleet industry as the greatest safety risk that most employees face. Reducing the risk of its drivers being involved in collisions has therefore been a major focus for Royal Mail.
Royal Mail processes and delivers more than 14.4 billion letters and 1.2 billion parcels to 30 million addresses each year. It operates a fleet of over 47,000 vehicles, and in the last few years it has invested heavily in road safety. This has included the training and development of its drivers, with on-road training delivered to more than 50,000 drivers since October 2014.
Between 2017 and 2019, Royal Mail delivered road safety campaigns to managers and drivers, covering key risk areas such as seatbelts, mobile devices, vehicle checks, leaving a safe distance, vulnerable road users, and driver impairment.
Using a network of ‘road safety champions’, it also developed new employee engagement materials including videos, infographics and victim testimony. These resources were all tailored to be relevant to Royal Mail’s driving community.
Royal Mail expanded its fleet of electric vehicles to 300 in 2019. All electric vehicles must conform to high safety standards covering their use, and every driver receives bespoke training covering risks specific to electric vehicles.
“Between 2017 and 2019, Royal Mail delivered road safety campaigns to managers and drivers, covering key risk areas such as seatbelts, mobile devices, vehicle checks, leaving a safe distance, vulnerable road users, and driver impairment.”
Royal Mail has reviewed and updated its recruitment processes and developed a web-based assessment tool that gathers information about the driver’s experience, and combines this with knowledge, hazard perception and situational judgment tests, to shortlist the safest drivers for interview.
Countermeasures to prevent vehicle rollaways include automatic electronic park brakes where available, or a handbrake sensor/alarm developed by Royal Mail Group technicians. Drivers are instructed to leave vehicles in gear to prevent vehicle rollaways and Royal Mail has increased communications and supervision to focus on this.
In 2018/19, Royal Mail achieved a 2.4% reduction in collisions compared with the previous year, representing 207 fewer incidents. Random checks conducted before and after the rollaway communications showed a 35% reduction in rollaway frequency, and the robust approach to the introduction of electric vehicles has meant their collision frequency is less than half of the frequency for the rest of its fleet.
Royal Mail Group was highly commended for the Company Driver Safety Award (large fleet) in 2019. This award recognises the organisation with a total fleet size of more than 1,000 vehicles that has implemented initiatives that do most to promote and achieve safer driving among employees.
See more previous winners.