Cogent Breeding Ltd becomes the latest Business Champion
Cogent Breeding Ltd is part of the Grosvenor Group, a private company owned by The Duke of Westminster. It operates a 40-strong fleet of light goods vehicles all equipped with trackers to provide real-time journey information and forward-facing CCTV cameras, as well as 50 company cars with almost 80 employees driving their own cars on work-related journeys invariably in rural areas.
Its Driving for Better Business champion status recognises risks focussed upon in the Department for Transport's THINK! campaign which highlights rural roads as the deadliest in the country. Three people die every day on country roads and a third of fatalities occur on bends notably due to drivers braking too late or cutting corners.
Cogent Breeding launched its safe driving initiative after identifying that that the highest workplace risk for its sales teams, delivery drivers and artificial insemination technicians was driving; placing it on the company risk register alongside working with bulls and handling livestock.
CEO of Cogent Breeding Ltd Andrew Turner, said “The fleet policy is a fundamental part of our duty of care for our staff and customers. It has reaped quick benefits in reduction of incidents as well as had an impact financially from reduced insurance costs, and more effective time on the road.”
Of the company’s 180 UK staff more than 70% drive due to the nature of their daily work duties and, furthermore, they are classed as lone workers. Most journeys undertaken are on rural minor roads often leading to remote farms with some employees clocking up around 40,000 miles annually. It promotes improved driving skills among its workforce by ensuring that all employees driving a vehicle on business have completed a 20-minute online risk assessment, which includes driving licence validation with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. Results are analysed and acted upon by the fleet manager Ann Moore and group distribution manager Graham Ruddick with drivers identified as ‘medium’ or ‘high’ risk completing additional e-learning driver training modules.
Driving for Better Business champion campaign manager Melvyn Hodgetts said, “The systems Cogent Breeding have in place have been designed to manage its complete fleet risk, including its grey fleet which is rare in an SME of this size.
“The company has recognised that driving to and from farms on rural roads can be as dangerous as dealing with livestock. Few SMEs recognise that the road risk facing their employees is equal to or greater than the occupational risk in the work they do”.
“While it is too early for tangible business benefits to be identified, the company’s at-work driving policy could play a pivotal role in influencing other SMEs to follow suit particularly in respect of recognising reputational risk.”
“For me recognising and placing at-work driving on the company’s risk register as one of its highest occupational risks, is a fantastic illustration of Cogent Breeding’s approach to safeguarding the health and safety of all of its employees”.
Please click here to access Cogent Breeding Ltd Business Champion case study.
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