Powys County Council
The Council operates a large fleet of approximately 600 commercial and 400 non-commercial vehicles.
In 2003/2004 the Council saw a 35 per cent increase in the number of commercial vehicle accident claims with a corresponding 99 per cent increase in costs. This increase in claims and costs prompted the development of an Occupational Road Risk Group in 2004 as part of a broad approach to managing road risks.
This Group undertook risk analysis which revealed that the highest number of incidents occurred in the Waste Management Department. Cause analysis identified the main cause of accidents within the Waste Management Department was reversing and collisions with fixed objects.
The Council's Occupational Road Risk Group developed a new approach to driver training. This involved the development of a risk assessment matrix which operational managers use to highlight specific training requirements for individual drivers.
The matrix considers factors such as the number of miles the driver covers and the type of vehicle they operate. When the relevant information is entered into the spreadsheet, the matrix returns recommendations to meet the training needs of the driver.
As part of the revised programme, drivers are given training tailored to their needs. In the Waste Management Department, there was a focus on reversing with the use of a member of staff acting as a reversing assistant. A scheme of post-accident interviews was also implemented so that drivers and the Council itself could learn from incidents.
The Insurance Department also began to record the routes upon which accidents were occurring. This information was used to inform an analysis of all Waste Management collection routes which examined various issues such as accident hotspots, potential hazards and appropriate locations at which to manoeuvre. The results of this analysis were used to make alterations to routes and times of collections.
Improvements to driver training have contributed to the following changes within the Council's commercial fleet:
There have also been specific impacts within the Waste Management Department. Before the changes, the Department was responsible for almost half of the number and cost of insurance claims despite accounting for less than one fifth of the vehicles in the commercial fleet. Since the changes were implemented, the Waste Management Department has seen a 60 per cent reduction in the cost of claims. The targeted reversing training has seen a 144 per cent reduction in the number of reversing accidents and a corresponding 97 per cent reduction in the cost of such claims since the programme began.
In Summer 2008, the Council's approach to occupational road risk management was recognised through being given a risk management award by ALARM UK, the national forum for risk management in the public sector.