On World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28th April, WJ Group is encouraging other companies to rethink their strategy to improve safety in the construction industry.

This comes after WJ was awarded the National Highways Industry Award for excellence in safety learning and culture, following significant improvements to the organisation’s operational safety.

Among the key developments was the road marking and highway safety specialist’s “driver behaviour” scheme, which allowed WJ to accurately review each driver’s performance and combine it with ongoing and significant rewards to maintain standards. WJ used their vehicle telematics system, which measures drivers’ performance by analysing acceleration, speed, braking, driving style, fuel consumption, daily vehicle checks for compliance, and various other metrics. From these metrics, drivers are graded via three performance bands: 0%–84.9% is red (underperforming), 85%–89.9% is amber (average), and 90%–100% is green (good).

Scott Logan, Transport Manager at WJ Group said: “The key to safety is understanding the conditions your staff work in and the associated risks. At WJ, we recognised that driving is one of the primary risks not only to our own workforce, but to colleagues and other road users. That’s how we identified that the most effective way we could address safety was through improving driver behaviour.”

Other changes the company has made include redesigned vehicles, extensive training, enhanced PPE, new technology and FORS accreditation. Now, WJ wants other businesses to adopt similar strategies to improve safety across the highways and construction industries.

Scott adds: “To alter attitudes, there needs to be a real incentive for colleagues to fully embody the values of the business. For us, we award the top three and most improved drivers from each depot with monthly and yearly bonuses. Then the winners are published on our internal social media platform, to maintain awareness of the scheme among everyone. This is a great way to harbour a culture of safety within our teams.

“Since introducing the scheme, we’ve seen real improvements. When we began, the average performance across the group was 87.58%; our most recent scores showed it is consistently over 95%, a massive improvement. This has resulted in a 40% reduction in the number of accidents we’ve had and a 44.87% decrease in the costs associated with these accidents. Using data like this really helps to understand the success and failures when implementing new processes.”

“Overall, our driver behaviour scheme has been a great success all round, not only delivering significant benefits for the business, but giving our drivers something to strive towards. We are now presenting this across the industry, allowing other organisations to replicate the success we have had and making the roads safe for all. But we’re encouraging organisations in all industries to take a similar approach in creating a safety culture.”

To find out more, please visit: www.wj.uk/working-with-us/health-safety/