Day Aggregates is one of the largest independent aggregate marketing companies in the UK. Since the 1960’s Day Aggregates has been providing services to the construction, demolition and water treatment industries throughout the United Kingdom. In 2013 we expanded the aggregates bagging business with the acquisition of Aggregate Supplies. This acquisition made us one of the leading suppliers of bagged aggregates in the UK.
Ian McGregor our Training and Compliance Manager for Transport and Distribution, explains how FORS has positively reinforced and contributed to best practice within Day Aggregates.
Day Aggregates activities reflect environmental concerns over the use of landfill sites and quarries and the associated transport. To that end, major investments have been made in state of the art recycling plants, railheads and wharves. This has enabled us to improve fuel efficiency, reduce road congestion and the impact it has on the environment.
Day Aggregates became involved with FORS in the early days of the scheme. We were immediately impressed with the way it encouraged sustainable best practice for freight operators and promoted safe working practices, legal compliance and the safety of vulnerable road users. Nothing like FORS had existed before and we embraced the principles it established. As a long-standing member, we were pleased when it became an obligation for companies supplying the Crossrail project.
Although we were happy that many of our management procedures and systems were already aligned to the FORS philosophy, we welcomed the opportunity to be assessed under the scheme and attained Bronze. The assessment confirmed we were already performing well, however there was no room for complacency. As a direct result of our Bronze assessment and with a view towards progression within the scheme, we established regular eyesight checks and revised many of our procedures.
We have always set very high standards for ourselves and after attaining Bronze the decision was taken to progress towards Silver and ultimately Gold. This would help us improve safety, reduce our environmental impact and give us an advantage when tendering for contracts.
The benefits of FORS accreditation are clear. It has helped us to identify areas where we can improve and develop our objectives. Day Aggregates continues to take advantage of the reduced rates offered to FORS accredited companies. We use AdvancedCheck to ensure all our drivers are correctly licensed, entitled and insured to drive. We have also made use of Road Hawk and Brigade solutions to reduce the risk of collisions by minimising vehicle blind-spots.
One of the key benefits of FORS is the driver training and protecting vulnerable road users. With more people encouraged to cycle it is crucial that we train our drivers to be aware of the risks and dangers of sharing the road. We have taken advantage of the Safe Urban Driving course and e-learning modules with all our drivers, as we feel that protection of vulnerable road users is a major priority within the industry.
Stuart Brown, one of Day Aggregates HGV Driver quoted,
“The safe urban driving course has made me understand the dangers that a cyclist faces daily and the difficulties with certain cycle lanes and road issues.”
As well as incorporating the FORS training, we also offer annual CPC driver training to all our HGV drivers. Some examples of the subjects covered have been First Aid, Customer Service and Site Safety Awareness (MPQC).
Within our Transport department we now have two FORS Practitioners that have completed all 10 workshops. One of our FORS practitioner Ian McGregor Training and Compliance Manager mentioned,
“Attending all of the FORS practitioner workshops has reinforced how important policy and procedures are. This has been a good opportunity to discuss ‘best practice’ with other like-minded operators.”
|Incidents per 100,000 Kms||
Number of PCNs
Ian McGregor has relayed some of the information gained from the FORS practitioner workshops to Chris Driscoll, who is our full time Insurance Manager. Chris is responsible for investigating and processing each road traffic incident and insurance claim. This is done in collaboration with the insurance broker ICB Ltd. Outcomes are fed back to the Fleet Management Team, so improvements can be introduced to prevent incidents and PCN’s wherever possible.
We have been working to educate drivers on the importance of being respectful and courteous whilst loading and unloading vehicles. We have noticed an increase of PCN’s from 2016, the majority of these have been due to yellow box junctions.
To help reduce CO2 emissions we actively seek ways to transport material by rail or water. This results in significantly lowering carbon emissions (per tonne of aggregate) than transporting by road. Road freight accounts for 25% of all ground based transport CO2 emissions so the risk to the general public presented by trains and ships is lower than that from transporting goods using trucks.
We actively seek ways to reduce noise pollution. Our Group Head of Health, Safety and Environment carries out a rolling program on noise assessment within our yards. Additional noise monitoring will be carried out if there is a stakeholder issue and corrective action taken as necessary. We recently wrote and carried out a Tool Box Talk on Noise reduction, this was rolled out to all drivers in April this year.
Day Aggregates has introduced a number of ways to improve driver health and fitness, these include the Cycle to Work scheme, annual eye tests and regular medical reviews. We also provide an Employee Assistance programme, this is a benefit that assists employees with personal or work-related problems.
At Day Aggregates we offer potential new HGV drivers the opportunity to join us and the Wallace School of Transport apprenticeship scheme. This is a 12-month Level 2 apprenticeship to gain a category C driving licence, this would lead to apprentice(s) becoming a fully qualified HGV driver within our Company.
Protecting vulnerable road users is at the heart of our philosophy. With this in mind we wanted to raise the bar in keeping the vulnerable road user safe whilst parallel to the HGV. Research has shown that 9% of fatalities could have been prevented if vehicles had been fitted with cycle guard panels. We are an early adopter of the Dawes Highway Safety PeoplePanels and we have now had them fitted to 35 of our current HGV fleet. These panels are being retro fitted to our existing vehicles and are being fitted to all new HGV and trailers before entering service.
FORS is extremely important to improving the image of our industry and helping to reduce our impact on the wider community. We are focussed on finding more efficient ways of running our operation and gold accreditation recognises these ongoing efforts. We continue to encourage our contractors to participate in the FORS scheme, many of which are realising the benefits for themselves.