Our feature in Construction Excellence Magazine on WRRR

Enterprise Flex-E-Rent's General Manager, Danny Glynn, has featured in Construction Excellence Magazine's February issue, discussing work related road risk (WRRR) issues affecting the construction industry.

You can read the February issue here, or read a copy of the feature below.

Several factors are accelerating the use of medium to long term van rental in UK construction – not least the political and economic uncertainty despite the fact that we currently live in seemingly buoyant times.

Directly or indirectly, we estimate that around two in three of the vans we rent support construction projects.

As demand for vans increases in the construction sector, so does the risk. Driving is the number one occupational risk in the UK. Given that many people who drive as part of their construction job in the UK have no more training or guidance than the average consumer who passes their car test, risks from driver behaviour – not least their own safety and that of those around them – increases dramatically.

That’s why many of the companies we work with align our service with their rigorous risk management and health and safety plans. In some cases the fit out of vans takes into account complex scenario planning: what equipment needs to be on board if there is a breakdown or accident in -10 degree temperatures, for example.

However, the level of incidents which we see reported tells a parallel story: despite the efforts of many, there is still a lot of scope to reduce incidents further. We are working with construction industry customers – and often their own contractors and suppliers who collaborate on projects to offset risk – to share best practice and reduce the impact of incidents that can increase downtime, cost and liability.

These incidents can have serious consequences.

Driving for business is associated with around 30% of all deaths on UK roads, and may be the most dangerous activity an employer ever asks staff to undertake on its behalf. This places a lot of responsibility onto businesses and the public sector, especially as the effects of vehicle-related accidents are felt far beyond the road.

Working with Jim Golby’s team at Applied Driving Techniques or ADT, some of the key areas we explore are:

  • prioritising risk assessment planning for all drivers and creating a simple policy that captures the key areas for your business
  • identifying risk areas that are pertinent to the business – for example, locations visited, times of day/year, equipment carried etc.
  • monitoring and recording incidents over time so that you can identify and address the most common types of accident/incident. Enabling you to target training or other corrective measures to address these issues – and sometimes, these drivers
  • ensuring any third parties with whom your business sub-contracts have similar processes in place
  • creating a process for ensuring the safety of part-time employees, especially if there are seasonal peaks and troughs in workflow.

These processes deliver significant value for surprisingly little cost. It is important that the construction sector continues to prioritise safety and that this extends into how it cares for employees who drive for business but are not professional drivers.

We are already seeing companies deferring decisions and areas of capital expenditure due to concerns about how the economy will shape up in the coming months. Our experience is that managing the risk of company driving is often overlooked. But it is vital when it comes to ensuring that the UK construction sector retains its reputation for excellence in health and safety.

Find out more about the difference we can make to your business, by speaking to one of our experts.

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Our feature in Construction Excellence Magazine on WRRR