East of England Co-op is committed to its values and community spirit, they also place a lot of importance on the welfare of their employees, and this extends significantly to their driving for work and road safety policies and practices.
Neil Renaut, Head of Health and Safety at the East of England Co-op, commented: “We have over 580 drivers in the business – from HGV drivers, to funeral/hearse fleets, home delivery vans, and company car drivers – both “owned” and grey fleet. We needed to ensure that we provide this diverse range of drivers with a clear demonstration of our duty of care, and to provide them with road skills and driver training to keep them driving both safely and efficiently, as well as ensuring a safe and responsible approach to other road users and pedestrians. We are in a relatively rural area of the country too – so we also have our fair share of ‘rural’ challenges – remote roads, and often animals and farm vehicles to be aware of too. We have a clear Driver Policy, and this is presented to all new drivers coming on board to set the standard and expectations.”
The business has been using the driver training services of DriveTech, part of the AA, for a number of years now, and has seen some admirable and notable improvements in its driver safety profile as a result. DriveTech provides services that range from licence checking to online driver assessments and e-learning modules through to more specific on road driver training interventions where deemed valid and important as regards driver risk and circumstances. The collaboration and practical working relationship between Neil and his team and DriveTech has really worked well.
As regards headline performance improvement measures, Neil Renaut provides some impressive figures: “In 2013, we conducted licence checks only in the main. However, since we introduced a more comprehensive programme with DriveTech, we have seen a reduction in accidents and claims, most notably between 2013 and 2017 which saw a 32% reduction. Driving for work here at East of England Co-op is recognised as a key business task and one that we take very seriously. We’re grateful for the professional support provided by DriveTech with the team there always working hard to provide good, effective service.”
The icing on the cake to the relationship recently was Neil Renaut winning “Fleet Management Superstar” at the 2020 Great British Fleet Awards with DriveTech mentioned as an integral contributor to Neil and teams success