Michelin Becomes 50th Driving for Better Business ‘Champion’
Michelin has become the 50th ‘business champion’ to join government-backed Driving for Better Business campaign. In doing so, the company has committed to help promote at-work driving safety initiatives to other public and private sector fleets. The tyre maker’s involvement with the campaign comes after reducing its road crash rate by more than 50 per cent in the last five years and adopting a target of zero incidents. Michelin says improving safety has helped reduce accident damage costs by 46%. It has also seen significant savings on indirect costs, such as vehicle hire and driver time.
The government-backed campaign, delivered by RoadSafe, works with the police and other agencies to encourage companies and organisations nationwide to implement best practice occupational road risk management programmes. An estimated 200 road deaths and serious injuries a week result from crashes involving at-work drivers with more employees killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads while driving on behalf of their employer than in any other work-related activity.
“Enrolment of the 50th fleet to the campaign is a fantastic landmark to achieve,” said campaign director Caroline Scurr. “Our business champions are drawn from the public and private sectors and embrace small organisations with just a handful of vehicles such as Middlesbrough-based RES Teesdale Scaffold to some of Britain’s best known businesses such as Royal Mail, British Telecom, Centrica (British Gas) and Tesco.com.
“However, like Michelin, all of our business champions have one thing in common,” Scurr added. “They have recognised that managing occupational road risk is not only a legislative requirement but can bring significant benefits to many areas of their business. Each of our business champions can prove that taking the actions they have done to reduce employee at-work driving risk exposure results in a reduced number of road traffic crashes which saves thousands and, in the case of large fleets, millions of pounds. Additionally, business productivity and image is improved along with staff well-being. The result is a measurable contribution to business efficiency and savings that go straight to the bottom line.”
“Michelin has worked extremely hard to reduce its occupational road risk exposure,” added Malcolm Scovell, Michelin Tyre PLC commercial director. “But we are not complacent which is why we are striving for a zero incident rate. It is extremely gratifying to have that strong focus on at-work driving safety recognised by the Driving for Better Business campaign in becoming its 50th business champion because we take this aspect of our responsibilities to employees and others affected by our actions very seriously.
“As a signatory to both the Global Road Safety Partnership and the European Road
Safety Charter, Michelin continues to be committed to road safety issues throughout the world,” Scovell added. “There is now a strong move to integrate road safety policies within the Michelin Eurozone with the UK taking the lead.”
The tyre manufacturer, which has its UK headquarters in Stoke on Trent, operates a UK-wide fleet of 230 company cars and 110 light goods vehicles with a further 100 employees driving their own cars on business. The company car fleet covers in the region of 4.7 million business miles per year which equates to an average of just over 20,000 business miles per year per driver.
All cars must in the Michelin fleet have at least a four-star European New Car Assessment Programme crash test rating with many having the top five stars. Models must also be equipped with steering wheel height and reach adjustment and a driver’s seat with a lumbar support and height adjustment. The fitment of winter tyres to improve grip and road safety in harsh weather conditions is also encouraged. All vans are fitted with full height solid bulkheads to stop tyres, wheels, tools and equipment carried from ‘invading’ the cab.
Health and safety is part of the “DNA” of Michelin Tyre, the company says, adding that this is illustrated by its investment in tyre technology that is aimed at helping reduce the number of road crashes; its on-site tyre maintenance service to bus and commercial vehicle customers; its nationwide team of tyre health check technicians that visit businesses, supermarket car parks and motorway service areas and inspect many thousand of tyres and offer expert safety advice; and its annual ‘Fill up with Air’ campaign, which promotes the importance of regularly monitoring tyre pressures and the general condition of tyres to all drivers.
“Since 2005 Michelin’s accident rate has reduced by almost 52 per cent to just over 50 incidents last year,” shared John Stack, fleet manager at Michelin Tyre PLC. “Managers are required to investigate all accidents with a view to preventing reoccurrence. This investigation also lifts the profile of these accidents, however minor, with the drivers and reinforces the message that Michelin is serious about road safety.”