On 'World Day for Safety & Health at Work' WJ offers to help you create a safety culture
28 April was World Day for Safety & Health at Work and WJ Group, which paints the lines on roads all over the country, made it its mission to make the roads safer by getting people in the construction industry to drive better.
WJ Group has just won a National Highways Industry Award for excellence in safety, learning and culture thanks to a system it has implemented in its business to try to get its drivers to drive better and be safer. It is now encouraging other companies throughout the construction industry to do the same and is offering to help them do so.
The road marking and highway safety specialist's driver behaviour scheme allowed WJ to review the performance of each of its drivers and combine it with ongoing and significant rewards to maintain standards.
WJ used its vehicle telematics system, which measures driver performance by analysing acceleration, speed, braking, driving style, fuel consumption, daily vehicle checks for compliance, and various other metrics, to develop a traffic light categorisation of its drivers: 0%–84.9% is red (underperforming), 85%–89.9% is amber (average), and 90%–100% is green (good).
Scott Logan, Transport Manager at WJ Group, says: “The key to safety is understanding the conditions your staff work in and the associated risks. At WJ, we recognised that driving is one of the primary risks not only to our own workforce but to colleagues and other road users. That’s how we identified that the most effective way we could address safety was through improving driver behaviour.”
Other changes the company has made include redesigned vehicles, extensive training, enhanced PPE, new technology and Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) accreditation.
Now WJ wants other businesses to adopt similar strategies to improve safety on the highways.
Scott adds: “To alter attitudes, there needs to be a real incentive for colleagues to fully embody the values of the business.
"For us, we award the top three and most improved drivers from each depot with monthly and yearly bonuses. Then the winners are published on our internal social media platform to maintain awareness of the scheme among everyone. This is a great way to harbour a culture of safety within our teams.
“Since introducing the scheme, we’ve seen real improvements.
"When we began, the average performance across the group was 87.58%. Our most recent scores showed it is consistently over 95% – a massive improvement. This has resulted in a 40% reduction in the number of accidents we’ve had and a 44.87% decrease in the costs associated with these accidents. Using data like this really helps to understand the success and failures when implementing new processes.
“Overall, our driver behaviour scheme has been a great success all round, not only delivering significant benefits for the business, but giving our drivers something to strive towards. We are now presenting this across the industry, allowing other organisations to replicate the success we have had and making the roads safe for all.
"We’re encouraging organisations in all industries to take a similar approach to creating a safety culture.”
To find out more about the WJ Group scheme and how it could be applied to your business, click here.