G F Gordon (Plant Hire) Ltd are based in Essex and supply enabling works; pilling attendance; plant hire; and muck away. Arran Gordon, Director, explains how G F Gordon (Plant Hire) Ltd has taken large steps forward in vehicle safety and driver training through the implementation of the FORS Standard.
We were made away of FORS through our clients based across London and the South East. After becoming FORS Bronze accredited the Company was inspired to improve the business by becoming certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 through BSI (a UKAS accredited assessment body). The pre-existing focus on continual improvement brought about through the FORS Bronze accreditation provided an excellent platform from which to build towards our quality and environmental management systems.
The FORS Bronze audit went well, passing first time, and providing an excellent opportunity for the Company to receive feedback on the positive practices we had in place, and receive some input on things that could be made even better.
By the time the decision had been made to progress to FORS Silver, we had taken some large steps forward in terms of fitting our lorries with state of the art technology to make them more safe, for both our drivers and other road users. Prior to, or by this stage, the lorries were fitted with Fresnel lenses, cameras, warning signs, and side panels.
‘Fitting our lorries with state of the art technology to make them more safe, for both our drivers and other road users’
Inspired by FORS, all drivers must undergo Urban Driving training, and we are proud to now be working in partnership with Cycle Training UK under an initiative called ‘Sharing the Road’. The lorries now contain safety tips for drivers and cyclists painted onto the side of the lorry, and the lorries now include improved cameras which respond to driver’s truck manoeuvres (zooming left, right etc.) and additional sensors that effectively eliminate the ‘driver blind spot’. In July 2014 Cycle Training UK’s Head of Training and Development sat in on a journey made by a lorry to better inform the training provided to cyclists from the perspective of the lorry driver. All of our drivers also now have 1:1 cycle urban riding training and Transport for London’s Safe Urban Driving CPC training, which includes practical on-bike training on roads. In the summer of 2015 we became CLOCS Champions, the scheme run by Transport for London to reduce the risks for vulnerable road users.
‘All of our drivers also now have 1:1 cycle urban riding training and Transport for London’s Safe Urban Driving CPC training’
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FORS has been a motivating and driving factor in identifying the ways in which we can continually improve as a company, building on our existing environmental and safety initiatives to improve our own operations, but also improve best practice, wherever possible, across the whole haulage industry. Achieving FORS Gold would be a hugely important and influential stamp of approval for G F Gordon (Plant Hire) Ltd. As we look toward the future and the potential for new technologies, greater awareness, and training to enable improvements not just to safety but also to the environmental sustainability of the company and the industry.