Benchmarking can be highly-effective in identifying industry best practice and highlighting potential ways to improve processes and reduce costs. It can also be an important element of improving work-related safety. We explore the benefits of benchmarking in helping to improve fleet safety and provide some useful guidance on how to ensure you benchmark effectively.
Benchmarking your fleet’s collision rates and processes can help to identify priority areas for improvement and allow you to put plans in to place to address any issues. The information gained through the benchmarking process can help to raise awareness of the identified issues amongst employees and senior management, and can have significant impacts in reducing road risk. Raising awareness amongst senior management can also be particularly useful in helping to get buy-in on improvement initiatives.
Benchmarking helps promotes discussion, investigation and the sharing of best practice. Other organisations are likely to have experienced similar issues and through benchmarking and sharing best practice you can learn what they have implemented to address them – there’s no point reinventing the wheel. Many organisations are often open to sharing how they have overcome issues, particularly if it’s likely to improve safety across the industry.
The information attained through benchmarking can also help improve processes in relation to fleet safety, reducing inefficiencies and costs.
Whilst it may be tempting to focus on collision figures when benchmarking for fleet safety purposes, this isn’t always the most effective measure. Collision reporting can often be inconsistent as some organisations don’t report certain incidents as ‘collisions’, whilst others do. It’s therefore important to benchmark across a number of areas and to also be mindful that if a fleet has a low incident rate, it is likely that not all incidents accurately recorded.
It is also important to be thorough when benchmarking. Ensuring that everything is recorded and considered will ensure that you have an accurate reflection of your organisation’s current situation. Thoroughness will likely result in your collision rate appearing high, although the flipside of this is that you will be able to clearly identify the causes of the collisions, which you can then address.
The ‘Fleet Safety Benchmarking’ tool is a particularly useful and freely available and longstanding benchmarking tool that has recently been fully revised and updated in collaboration with the Occupational Road Safety Alliance (ORSA). The tool has been used by over 1,400 organisations and provides a 30 question gap analysis that covers four main areas – road safety management policy; organisational leadership and road safety culture; driver recruitment, selection, induction management and wellbeing; and vehicle selection, safety management, maintenance and security. The tool is quick and simple to use and provides immediate feedback.
Considering a range of areas in relation to fleet safety, will ensure you have an accurate reflection and understanding of your organisation’s strengths and weaknesses. It is, however, important not to become complacent if the benchmarking process shows that your organisation is performing strongly in comparison to others. You should continue regularly benchmark, so that you are aware of changes, both within the industry and your own organisation.
Benchmarking, when done thoroughly, can have a significant impact on helping to identify and address fleet safety issues within your organisation. Considering collision rates, along with other safety indicators will allow you to you raise awareness and implement appropriate measures to tackle issues and in turn improve fleet safety.