P J brown (Construction) Ltd was started by the company’s namesake Peter John Brown in 1980, with Peter beginning as a sole trader with a single tipper lorry. In the years since then, it has grown to become the largest tipper operator in Sussex.
Based in Crawley, Sussex, P J Brown (Construction) Ltd has two significant sides to its operational activities with its groundwork’s and civil engineering operation being the largest part of its business and its haulage operation playing a supporting role.
Phil Conner has recently replaced Richard ‘Sonny’ Brown as the company’s transport compliance manager and explains how P J Brown (Construction) Ltd’s FORS journey has progressed through the improvements in road safety and reductions in road incidents, CO2, NOX and PM since becoming a FORS accredited member.
We became aware of FORS in 2014 following discussion with one of our clients and upon visiting the FORS website realised it could possibly help us to enhance our compliance practice.
Putting together the required documentary evidence for our initial Bronze audit was fairly straightforward as we already maintained the evidence as a matter of course. Equally, the FORS layout of folders made a great deal of sense making things easier to find.
For P J Brown (Construction) Ltd, upon obtaining FORS bronze it was inevitable that we would look at both Silver and Gold as it is the company’s ethos to progress and achieve the highest possible accreditation to enhance and endorse our standing as a compliant operator.
Having gained FORS Bronze, we took advantage of the road safety training that was available to us and booked our driver workforce on the Safe Urban Driver training and completed the required E-Learning modules both of which were a significant ‘bolt-on’ to our internal driver risk management program. During 2020 we will look again at the SUD as a refresher course to our driver workforce.
‘There has been a number of improvements in road safety and reductions in CO2, NOX and PM as well as an improvement in mpg’ – Phil Conner Transport Compliance
All of our vehicles are fitted with near side close proximity sensors and cameras which are linked into the left turn audible warning alarms. We have recently taken delivery of 10 new 8 x 4 tipper vehicles which have had 360 camera systems installed prior to going into service.
The benefits of having 360 camera systems installed became apparent to us during 2017 and it therefore makes common sense to install these camera systems on all new vehicles ordered to continue upgrading the fleet with the latest safety technology.
‘FORS has helped us enhance our compliance best practice’ Phil Conner Transport Compliance
Overall, some of the improvements we have achieved are detailed in the table below which serves to motivate us to further improve on our current achievements.
|Average MPG||Incidents per 100,000 Kms||Number of PCNs|
Driver health and fitness review – All new drivers must complete a mandatory Medical Declaration upon joining the company at the new driver’s induction.
Strategy for recruiting drivers – P J Brown (Construction) Ltd are based in an area where there are several other operators carrying out similar work. With it becoming ever harder to recruit drivers, we increased our driver rates in September 2017 to ensure that we retain our driver workforce in what is a very competitive marketplace.
Equally, we advertise extensively through our media platforms and have actively promoted HGV driving as a career path at local events we sponsor as a company. However, like many operators, we are restricted to what we can achieve here as employing a young, newly qualified driver places significant financial penalty upon the company in excess insurance payments.
Noise assessment – the location of our operating centre means that our daily activities do not impact on local residences. To avoid other noise and inconvenience on the routes that will impact upon other road users, our vehicle fleet has usually left the ‘OC’ before the main build-up of local rush hour traffic and the ‘school run’ which serves, not only to minimise noise impact, but equally helps reduce emissions from vehicles that would otherwise be sitting idling in traffic queues.
Modal shift and alternative vehicles – we had a demonstration of the direct vision tipper vehicle that is currently available from Volvo trucks and this is something that we will consider for the future.
FORS has afforded P J Brown (Construction) Ltd the ability to quickly, simply and effectively implement various strategies to ensure the company and its vehicle fleet operates as safely as possible. It has given us a framework that ensures we are as up to date and as current as we can be and has given us access to tools such as e-learning and on-site courses that we would otherwise be unaware of.
Moving forward, we will continue to maintain the highest levels of compliance we can wherever practicable.
In summary, achievement of GOLD has served to confirm that P J Brown construction ltd is both committed to meeting the highest standards of compliance and road safety whilst simultaneously striving to set new ones.
‘Renewing our FORS Gold for another year will confirm the benchmark of said standards and for P J Brown (Construction) Ltd this means being part of a select group that has achieved its highest accreditation with FORS’ – Richard ‘Sonny’ Brown Civils Compliance
Website – https://www.pjbrown.co.uk/
*Please note: All published FORS Gold case studies have been submitted by the accredited company named above and transcribed verbatim