GPI Distribution Limited (GPIDL) in the UK has achieved the FORS (Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme) Gold standard. FORS is a voluntary accreditation scheme for fleet operators that aims to raise the level of quality within fleet operations and to demonstrate which operators are achieving exemplary levels of best practice in safety, efficiency and environmental protection. It is the most well-recognized independent distribution accreditation in the UK, and all GPI-branded vehicles traveling around the UK now have this Gold standard accreditation displayed.
There are over 8,400 FORS members in the UK, but only 745 operate at the Gold standard level. This puts GPIDL in the top nine percent of the UK’s fleet operators, most of which are much larger distribution service providers. Achieving the FORS Gold standard is a great accomplishment especially considering it was done in only three years, and not many distribution companies or fleet operators are able to reach the high standards required.
Wayne Murby, transport compliance manager, led the charge with Ian Widdowson, group warehouse and distribution manager, and the rest of the team to get GPIDL to this level. After achieving the Bronze standard in 2017, the team decided to go for the Silver standard which was achieved in 2018. During 2019 they pushed through to achieve Gold. Each year GPIDL is audited on all three levels.
“The key motivator behind taking on the challenge of obtaining this voluntary accreditation was to try to ensure that as a business we are doing everything we can to improve the safety of our employees and the general public in and around the distribution activity we operate,” said Jason Healey, GPI finance director, EMEA.
In addition to annual eyesight tests for drivers and regular online safety modules and training for drivers and transport managers, there are many enhancements and requirements the team had to undertake over the past three years to help GPIDL obtain the accreditation, including:
- A cycling proficiency test for every truck driver. This allows them to experience what it is like to be a vulnerable road user and see what dangers trucks can pose to cyclists.
- Every delivery vehicle GPIDL operates has been fitted with a five-way CCTV recording system, including a camera inside the cab that records the driver’s behavior while they are operating the distribution vehicles.
- With left-hand external detectors and speakers, once the vehicle slows down to 10 mph and signals to turn left, the truck can detect a person (cyclist or pedestrian) near the vehicle and will sound a warning that the vehicle is about to turn left.
- GPIDL fill out at least one hazard mitigation every month and are always looking at ways to improve on them both on-site and off-site as it is important that both views are measured since 95 percent of the truck drivers’ time is spent outside of a GPI location.
All of this shows the great strides the GPIDL team is making to proactively ensure distribution that is safer for our employees and the general public, improves overall cost efficiency and reduces our negative impact on the environment. Well done to Wayne and the rest of the GPIDL team for your efforts!