HFF Civil Engineering Ltd – 3 Years of Gold


Established in 2009, HFF Civil Engineering Ltd are based at Cambois, Bedlington, Northumberland. We are a professional, reliable, and well-established family run business who continue to expand and grow each year. Our truck fleet consists of both 8 wheeled and articulated vehicles. The fleet has a mix of aluminium Tar-spec and steel bodied tipper trucks. We have our low loader which is STGO plated and able to carry up to 60 tonne (GVW). We have also added a newer skip wagon to the fleet which is also a Euro 6 vehicle. We provide an excellent service with all your building and demolition needs that can be met in one place at our site which is also a registered waste transfer station. We do plant hire, waste removal, skip hire and the supply and delivery of sand, aggregates, top soil, gravel and ballast.

Stephen Charlton, Managing Director explains how FORS has benefited his company by helping them manage their fuel consumption, improved their overall road safety and how he is proud of the standard his team is today!

We first came across FORS when tendering to work for Tarmac, who required that we obtain FORS recognition and recommended we go for Bronze which we did without hesitation. When we looked at the requirements and benefits of joining the scheme, we saw that they fitted in perfectly with our ethos of improving safety whilst complementing our drive to improve fuel efficiency and reduce our environmental impact. Since then, the obvious step for us was to progress to Silver and then Gold!

Doing our first Bronze audit we were surprised how much we were gaining with the accreditation. It helped us put a system in place which gave us a standard to adhere and a structure of expectations for our team. Since progressing to Silver and Gold this has not only helped us to secure work but also helped us improve our system and implement a safer and more thoughtful approach to the industry.

FORS has had a huge impact on our training program with our drivers. It has set clear goals that must be achieved to meet the Gold accreditation, and this gives us a clear indication of where to prioritise training within our team. The easy access training resources and toolkits have remarkably improved our driver’s knowledge and abilities and we have implemented systems to improve the safety of not only our drivers but also vulnerable road users.

‘The amount of easy access training and resources FORS provide is fantastic. We have seen much more consideration with our drivers, and I know overall this has improved not only their safety but our impact on the environment!’ – Rachel Hall – Operations Manager.

MPG Incidents per 100,000 Kms

Number of PCNs

Year 2019 6.11 8 4
Year 2020 7.45 5 3
Percentage improvement 22% 37.5% 25%

‘We continue to see reductions and savings across the fleet which is all thanks to FORS. We will continually push to make further savings using tools that FORS provides for us.’ – Stephen Charlton – Managing Director

  • All new drivers must complete a Preplacement medical questionnaire when completing their new starter packs, and they must sign the Health & Safety declaration, so they know they have access to the Health & Safety Policy. They must also complete an In-employment questionnaire every year as well as have a full medical completed by a third party when requested by the DVLA.
  • All employees must complete a COVID-19 declaration to confirm they understand what they must do if they show signs of Covid-19 or have been on contact with someone who has tested positive. Continuous advice is given throughout the company and from our customers.
  • All employees have a driving licence check every 3 months and an eyesight test carried out every 4 months, as well as the start of employment and if they are involved in any accidents. These are always recorded and signed for by the employee.
  • We carry out Toolbox Talks at least once per month. We work our way through the FORS talks every year which are excellent for our drivers, and we incorporated them into our annual awareness campaign. We also complete our own which are normally based around Health & Safety, environmental and any topics recommended to us by our customers i.e. Tarmac.
  • New drivers must be taken for a driving assessment by a senior member of staff before employment can commence. Our own drivers are also assessed inhouse or by an assessment provider on a regular basis.
  • Driver buddies are established upon employment to provide a mentor system for new drivers.
  • In relation to Noise Assessment our customers sites are based in non-sensitive areas around the North East and are below the legal Health & Environmental requirement. Our own site is also in a non-sensitive area and we carry out weekly noise assessments throughout the site to monitor any changes. We also have restrictions for night working to keep the environmental impact at a minimum. Thanks to the FORS toolkits our drivers are aware of the ways they can reduce noise pollution themselves and they make a conscious effort to do so by following our procedures such as our Anti-idling policy.

We ensure continual fleet improvements by ensuring regular updates of our fleet, an average of every 3 years and we are always making sure they are meeting the correct specifications and requirements for certain contracts. Our lowest vehicles emissions level is at a Euro 5 level and the remaining are at Euro 6, Euro 6C and Euro 6D levels. We are in close contact with our suppliers regarding the possibilities of alternative fueled vehicles, however this is seemingly not possible at present for the type of work HFF carry out due to load carrying constraints and lack of infrastructure in the area.

We have positively promoted FORS by always advertising the FORS logo on our documents, vehicles, handouts etc. In addition, we have worked with Fleetsource in 2019 to provide a space to complete LoCity classroom training or equivalent. This was for not only our employees but nearby hauliers who wanted to add their drivers onto it.

It is imperative that HFF Civil Engineering maintain our Gold accreditation. Not only to maintain contracts with our customers, but also to ensure the company is raising the bar by continuously trying to improve safety and environmental impact which is what we feel everyone in the transport industry should be doing.

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*Please note: All published FORS Gold case studies have been submitted by the accredited company named above and transcribed verbatim

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