Tarmac operates from more than 400 sites across the UK and transports over 70 million tonnes of materials by road each year. Over 21,000 drivers are used across a fleet of 16,000 contracted and company owned vehicles that include artics, tippers and ready-mix trucks. Consistent messaging and communications across this large and diverse group of hauliers and drivers is difficult. Tarmac wanted to improve its relationship with them and to ensure that they all shared Tarmac’s safety values.
A six-month programme of research was undertaken to ensure that Tarmac had a clear understanding of the views of the hauliers and drivers on the issues and where improvements should be made. An important part of the process was to raise Tarmac’s awareness of best practice within the industry and in other sectors, identify key trends and issues, to focus the proposed actions on those areas where effective changes or improvements could be made.
The information gathering was undertaken in the sequence outlined below.
- Engaging with senior leadership to review issues, incidents and consider a way forward.
- Reviewing external best practice in FORS forums etc.
- Surveying the operational team for opinions on hauliers and transport safety culture.
- Surveying hauliers and drivers for their opinions on Tarmac and safety communications/engagement.
- Running a workshop with operational leaders to review survey outputs and design solutions.
- Establishing a dedicated working group to deliver solutions.
- Running a workshop with external/collect hauliers – to understand their views, what wider industry does, how Tarmac could improve.
- Running a final workshop with operational leaders to review the proposed approach.
- Launching the 'Safety Partnership'.
The outcome from this activity was the 'Safety Partnership', a new engagement programme that was designed to help bring Tarmac teams, hauliers and drivers closer together, to improve collaboration and strengthen the relationships. These activities would build a greater level of trust and help create a ‘One Team’ feel within the business.
The programme was launched by Martin Riley, the Senior Vice President of Tarmac. Central to the launch was a transport focussed safety week that was held at all Tarmac’s 400 sites in November 2017. Each site had a dedicated information pack that had interactive content with a different theme for each day.
This enabled sites to engage drivers in the activities and helped to facilitate safety discussions between the drivers and the site operatives. Over the five days, the process started to build a more open environment and a shared understanding of the issues. Importantly, the feedback from the week also enabled somesite-specific actions to be put in place. An example of this was the conversion of an old storeroom to create a rest room for drivers.
Following on from the safety week, monthly meetings now take place involving the drivers and site personnel, these meetings provide the basis for open discussions, feedback on progress and the identification of any new issues.
- Reduction in incidents involving drivers
- More near hits now being reported and actioned
- Improved engagement with drivers and hauliers across Tarmac
- Better understanding of issues for drivers at site level l More consistent messaging and feedback from drivers l Improved facilities for drivers
- Progress in achieving 'One Team' feel and shared safety values