The accolade is the latest stage in Safesite’s drive to continually improve standards across the business.
Paul Kendall, Fleet & Logistics Manager said: We came across FORS a few years ago. There was quite a bit of buzz about the scheme. We did a bit of investigating and quickly realised it looked good, and might help us achieve various best practice benefits.
“Working towards the FORS Bronze accreditation was a bit of a whirlwind really, but we passed first time in August 2018.
“Once we had gained FORS Bronze, we decided we wanted to progress and try to achieve Silver and ultimately Gold. We were bidding for larger projects – a lot of HS2 connected work, for example.
“These kinds of jobs generally require Silver as a minimum and, even if there isn’t a formal requirement, we know that having FORS accreditation is likely to be highly valued.
“Also, we had already seen gains in our emissions and miles per gallon statistics, so we wanted to continue our FORS journey for both ends – the actual gains, plus a way to prove best practice to current and potential clients. We achieved our Silver accreditation in 2019.
“The FORS Gold was a much more challenging exercise than the earlier levels. But, the challenge was worth it, and I’m pleased to say we accomplished it, first try, in May 2022 – especially as it was a personal goal of mine when I joined the company.
“As this is our first year of FORS Gold accreditation, we’re looking forward to monitoring future improvements over the coming years.
“We’ve always been proud of our road safety record, but we have trimmed the incident rate down further. Driver performance and awareness has definitely been improved by the various FORS eLearning modules that are part of accreditation.
“The Safe Urban Driving course was one we’d name check in particular as being useful in understanding how to reduce risk to cyclists. If your experience of the roads is largely from the commanding heights of an HGV cab, it’s quite an experience to have to cycle around London and see first-hand how the other half rolls.
“Another area we’ve focussed on is noise pollution. I personally am the company’s champion in this area.
“One change we’ve made is setting permitted times for loading and unloading in certain areas. Also, our driver training now emphasises the importance of turning off the engine if the vehicle is going to be stationary for an extended period. Of course, this has also helped achieve our emissions goals.
“We’re not a company to rest on its laurels, we’re always looking to make marginal gains. All of our commercial vehicles are at Euro VI status, but we want to find a way to keep driving down emissions.
“We have already started to replace company cars with electric or hybrid vehicles, and expect to widen this out to the entire vehicle fleet over the next few years.
“We have a relatively new telematics system to help us monitor vehicle status and also driver health and behaviour. Going forward, we’ll be looking at this data, and seeing how we can refine our systems and practices.
“Overall, FORS has been an entirely positive experience for us. It has helped us drive up standards in a number of areas, and has enabled us to both retain and win clients by letting us prove those new standards. We make a point of emphasising our FORS status in our communications and on our website, because people do value it.”