East of England Co-op has reported headline performance improvements in safety under its ongoing road risk partnership with DriveTech.
The consumer co-op provides stores and services to towns and villages in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, and also runs fuel forecourts, funeral services, travel agencies and even security & stonemasonry businesses. As such, it runs a diverse fleet from company-owned and grey fleet cars and delivery vans to HGVS and funeral/hearse fleet; in total it has more than 580 business drivers.
Alongside its cultural commitment and local community spirit, the East of England Co-op also places a lot of importance on the welfare of its employees, and this extends significantly to its driving for work and road safety policies and practice.
Neil Renaut, head of health and safety at the East of England Co-op, commented: “We needed to ensure that we provide this diverse range of drivers with a clear demonstration of our duty of care, and to provide them with road skills and driver training to keep them driving both safely and efficiently, as well as ensuring a safe and responsible approach to other road users and pedestrians. We are in a relatively rural area of the country too – so we also have our fair share of ‘rural’ challenges – remote roads, and often animals and farm vehicles to be aware of too. We have a clear driver policy and this is presented to all new drivers coming on board to set the standard and expectations.”
The business has been using the driver training services of DriveTech, part of the AA, for a number of years now, and has seen some admirable and notable improvements in its driver safety profile as a result. Since switching to a more comprehensive licence checking programme with DriveTech, East of England Co-op has seen a reduction in accidents and claims, most notably between 2013 and 2017 when they fell 32%.
DriveTech also provides a range of other risk management services from online driver assessments and e-learning modules through to more specific onroad driver training interventions where needed, liaising with Neil and his team, which includes Luke Warren and Rosie Butler.
Tracey Bass, sector account manager at DriveTech, said: “We enjoy an excellent working relationship with Neil, Rosie, and Luke. We take as much pride in the results of our work as I know they do within the East of England Co-op and we appreciate the opportunity to provide a breadth of services from checking driver licences on a periodic basis to much more specific onroad driver training that helps identify high risk situations that drivers may face. We derive a great deal of satisfaction from providing one-to-one coaching to improve and shape attitudes, behaviours and core driving competencies, and are pleased with the results.”
Neil Renaut added: “Driving for work here at East of England Co-op is recognised as a key business task and one that we take very seriously. We’re grateful for the professional support provided by DriveTech, with the team there always working hard to provide good, effective service.”