Thursday 27th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Safety award for Suckling

Fuel transport specialist Suckling Transport has received the Energy Institute Safety Award. 

Institute president, James Smith and TV presenter Gabby Logan presented the award to the company at the EI Awards dinner in recognition of its Zero Incident Project.

Suckling Transport operates 70 road tankers from twelve operating centres in the UK.  Customers include Shell, ConocoPhillips and Petroplus Marketing.

The Freight Transport Association reckons Suckling Transport’s performance on driver compliance three times better than the national or sector average and VOSA rates the Company’s driver compliance in the top 10 per cent in the UK. Earlier this year, managing director Peter Larner became the Brake Road Risk Manager of the Year.

The project-based management style of Suckling Transport has created award-winning initiatives like the Eco Guardian Project and TankShare.  The Energy Institute Safety Award means that Suckling Transport can add their Zero Incident Project to their list of innovative projects.

Suckling launched its Zero Incident Project in January 2008 with the objective of eliminating road accidents completely.   The company had always encouraged the reporting of potential incidents and near misses so prior to the launch, a database was created and drivers were incentivised to submit near miss reports and potential incident reports.  During 2008, 337 such reports were processed.

The system significantly increased the opportunities the company had to investigate risks.  Using this information, and by conducting cold case reviews of previous incidents, the company then searched for technological solutions to those incidents. Senior managers were charged with identifying technological developments that were either currently available or being developed that could improve safety.  As a result, 22 separate safety initiatives were launched. 

Trials were conducted on those initiatives related to new technology and meetings were held with suppliers and customers to discuss these items, and others which referred to procedural or policy changes. However, the main aim of this innovative project was to completely eliminate road accidents and to do this the team realised that it must firstly manage journey and site risks in real time and communicate those risks to drivers in advance.

By encouraging near miss and potential incident reports a greater number of risks were identified. The company soon reached a position where drivers were reporting more risks through greater awareness.  And, through new procedures, managers now also reported risks through safety observations at loading and delivery points.  Even the vehicle itself was, effectively, reporting risks through its telematics.

The frequency of road traffic accidents fell from 1.05 accidents per one million kilometres in 2007 to 0.78 in 2008. 

Suckling intends to continue its  ZIP initiative by geo-fencing accident black spots and passing this information to drivers through an audible in-cab message. It is looking for a customer-partner to pioneer this work.  The EBS system on the trailer can also identify risks, such as near miss rollovers and these can be recorded and communicated to the driver too. 

In the future, mapping will enable us to ensure speed compliance through our journey management procedures.  Currently journey management checks are conducted by managers manually to identify non-compliant activities such as speeding that are not detected through normal tachograph analysis methods.  In 2010, the on-board computers will check for speed compliance automatically every two minutes.