Fire Protection Ltd – Improving our Logistics Operations with FORS Gold Accreditation

Fire Protection Ltd – Improving our Logistics Operations with FORS Gold Accreditation

Fire Protection Ltd, based in Harlow in Essex, is part of the Hotchkiss group and is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and installers of fire-resistant ductwork. Colin Daniels, recently appointed as Transport Assistant, became a FORS Practitioner in March 2018. With the knowledge gained from the ten workshops the aim is to continue to improve our logistics operations, as they have been since the company first joined the FORS scheme five years ago. As a company we know how important it is to keep running costs down whilst managing a safe and efficient fleet.

We were made aware of FORS when tendering for work across London and we looked at the requirements and benefits of joining the scheme. We recognised that it fitted perfectly with our ethos of improving safety and fuel efficiency and that it would benefit us by opening doors to new business.

We gained FORS Bronze at the first attempt in August 2013 and two members of the transport department subsequently attended the FORS workshops and became Practitioners. As such they realised the importance of a structured approach to running our transport operations, albeit with a fleet of only one vehicle. Aspects not considered in the past were brought to the fore and every effort was made to better manage our vehicle, driver and practices using FORS as a guiding principle.

Having achieved Bronze, in March 2014 we achieved Silver and in April 2015 we gained Gold accreditation by improving on the systems we had already put in place. We have recently started using the Performance Management tool and long ago sent our driver for CPC training along with FORS courses such as Safe Urban Driving, Cycle Safety and Van Smart. We have moved forward with other members of the Hotchkiss group and have encouraged our partner companies to come on board. Our two regular haulage contractors have achieved FORS Silver status and our third, found via the FORS website, was one of the earliest companies to become FORS accredited and has also progressed to the Gold level.

Alan Kinnear – Director says,

‘We operate in a very competitive sector. Our FORS accreditation opens doors to new business opportunities and ensures our continued involvement in many major construction projects.’

The safety of vulnerable road users and fuel efficiency are the areas we consider to be of paramount importance. Working with FORS, through their workshops, by referring to the FORS standard and using the many training resources and online tools, has proved invaluable and has helped to raise awareness within our transport operation. FORS has provided our driver and managers with better training through courses such as those mentioned above and toolbox talks have also helped our staff to focus and ensure our fleet operation is professional and competent.

FORS has also provided the structure within which we have introduced a driver’s health and fitness check list, driving licence check from the DVLA and driver’s working hours recording. In addition it has prompted us to introduce a strategy for recruiting drivers and to appoint a FORS Practitioner to manage and monitor fuel consumption and road risk.

Fire Protection Ltd has an ongoing commitment to the improvement of vehicle safety and fuel efficiency. The former contributes significantly to road safety where cyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users are in close proximity to vehicles.

Adherence to practices encouraged during FORS courses and training has enabled us to reduce our fleet CO2 emissions. Efficient driving and intelligent routing, along with an anti-idling policy contribute towards this. Our use of contract hauliers who have larger vehicles than ours means we are able to deliver more of our often very large volume ductwork in a single delivery meaning we do not have to make two or more journeys with our vehicle to achieve the same result.

Though not mandatory on a 3.5 tonne van we have fitted four blind-spot cameras to our vehicle giving the driver greater awareness of the environment around him and providing a useful tool for manoeuvring in delivery areas which are often very restricted.

Martin Clarke – Manufacturing Manager says,

‘Although our fleet is small, the FORS standard provides a framework which greatly helps us to manage our operations including deliveries made by ourselves and by our FORS accredited haulage contractors. We are considering expanding our fleet and expect this to be a seamless process thanks to FORS.’




Incidents per 100,000 Kms

2016 – 2017



2017 – 2018



Percentage improvement



Annual summary of MPG and Incidents per 100,000 Kms

*A result of increased business, more deliveries on a single vehicle and a 16.1% increase in miles travelled on London’s congested roads

Achieving Gold has focussed our attention on particular aspects of fleet operation and as a company ready and willing to embrace new technology we have looked into the possibility of moving to a hybrid vehicle. We are evaluating the offerings on the market and hope soon to find a vehicle which suits our requirements, provides the desired reduction in emissions and increase in efficiency and for which the total cost of ownership is sustainable.

We are proud to be FORS Gold accredited and remain committed to the scheme. We continue to monitor our operations and look to make improvements wherever we can. This applies beyond our transport operations as principles and practices embodied in FORS can be extended to all areas of our business. In addition to FORS Gold accreditation we are also ISO 9001 : 2015 certified and have achieved the RoSPA Gold Award for the 9th year running.