David Watson Transport Ltd are one of the largest Specialist Transport companies in the UK, with nearly 100 vehicles, 150 employees and 7 depots across the country. Our fleet comprises of lorry loaders, flat beds, police approved escort vehicles and specialist rear steering trailers. As one of the foremost UK transport companies, we operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, covering the United Kingdom as well as international locations.
Andrea Senior, Internal Development Coordinator, explains how being members of FORS has helped them maintain the company’s ethos – Setting the standards for others to follow – including a targeted approach to reducing PCNs and an increase in staff training
‘We first became aware of FORS as a contractual condition of working on the Crossrail project throughout London. Although it was initially a commercial decision to pursue the accreditation, we quickly realised that the benefits of working to such high standards would be of great advantage throughout all areas of the company.
“We quickly realised that the benefits of working to such high standards would be of great advantage throughout all areas of the company”
We passed our initial Bronze assessment first time, which was a straightforward process aided by the fact that the majority of our systems already met the criteria of the accreditation.
Becoming part of the FORS scheme encouraged us to keep on improving our systems and policies, and we consequently went for the Silver accreditation, which we achieved in March 2014. As part of the natural progression of the Company’s commitment to continually improving safety standards, we went for Gold accreditation and were awarded this in May 2015. As a result of this accomplishment, we have increased our client base and workload, leading to expansion of our fleet and employing more staff. We also have access to a wide range of benefits and discounts provided as part of the FORS scheme.
As part of our commitment to reducing Penalty Charge Notices, we have introduced a New Skills Assessment for new drivers to gauge their experience of driving in and around London, as well as increasing the coverage of this topic during inductions, ensuring that drivers are aware of the different types of penalty charges and that they will be responsible for any fines received as a result of not following road signage/instruction, entering box junctions etc. As a result of this, we have seen an overall reduction in PCNs of 4% from 2014 to 2015.
We also realised the importance of ensuring the recognition of FORS and awareness of vulnerable users should extend beyond just drivers to include all staff; to that extent, we have implemented an induction presentation for office staff which gives them a basic introduction to all elements of transport, including FORS and CLOCS. This ensures that Key Account Managers, for example, are more aware of the challenges facing lorry drivers in areas such as London, as well as consideration of road safety factors when planning a job such as route planning, traffic restrictions and red routes.
In addition to this, our Internal Development Coordinator has been attending the FORS Practitioner workshops, bringing back the knowledge gained to further review our internal process and conduct quality audits to ensure we are working to the best practice as far as possible, not just meeting the standards of the accreditation.
“Our Internal Development Coordinator has been attending the FORS Practitioner ourses, bringing back the knowledge gained to further review our internal process and conduct quality audits”
Achieving FORS Gold has enabled David Watson Transport to demonstrate a commitment to continually improving standards within the industry. We already have one member of the management team attending the FORS Practitioner courses and intend to put more management through the available courses.
In 2016-2017 we aim to further reduce PNCs by 20%, with a particular focus on box junctions, as well as reducing own-fault incidents by 20%.