As the clocks turn back and the darker nights roll in, HR and Recruitment specialist, Gi Group, is leading the way for road safety across the HGV industry with a tailored approach to ensuring its drivers are trained to the highest standards.
From apprenticeship schemes to monthly workshops and CPC training, Gi Group is going above and beyond to ensure it moulds the safe drivers of tomorrow and does its part to help prevent road traffic accidents involving HGVs.
Recent data has revealed that across all of Great Britain, November is the peak month for road traffic accidents with most occurring on Fridays (17%) at 5pm (9%) around the time of winter sunset in November. Additional research found that through the winter months, November – January, insurance claims for severe accidents are as much as four times more common than in warmer months.
Wayne Stroud, Operations Support Manager at Gi Group, who worked as a HGV driver for over a decade, said: “I was a commercial driver myself for 15 years, so I understand the daily challenges for HGV drivers. The importance of road safety becomes particularly prevalent as the winter months draw in and driving conditions alter dramatically. Simple steps like ensuring you have checked the weather conditions for the areas you are driving to on the day and that you have had enough rest to remain alert can make all the difference for both commercial drivers and car motorists.
“I am passionate about road safety and changing the societal perception of HGV drivers, which is why I am proud to work with Gi Group to ensure we are supporting and educating our drivers. I host monthly workshops for our HGV drivers, in addition to delivering the Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training which is 35 hours of mandatory training that commercial drivers must complete every 5 years.
“Safe and Responsible Driving, Drivers Health and Wellbeing and Fatigue Prevention are the three main focuses of our training – all of which work to offer additional support and skills to provide our drivers with the resources to excel within their role.”
Not only do Gi Group offer road safety training to its drivers, but it also extends its workshops to its customers to ensure industry support is available and accessible to all. Wayne focuses on breaking down industry barriers, showing the importance of speaking up and discussing road safety struggles to create a preventative formula to safe driving, rather than a reactive solution.
James Figgitt, a driver that has undergone Gi Group’s voluntary training said: “I found Gi Group’s training really valuable, I spend so much time out on the road and the training helped to highlight some areas of the job that I really didn’t think about before. Since attending the monthly training, I have focused on my welfare and truck preparation a lot more to ensure I am confident, focused and calm when out on the road.”
In addition to darker nights and slippery surfaces, a recent industry campaign, ‘Know Your Zones’, launched across the UK by National Highways, explores the importance of knowing HGV blind spots to ensure motorists are as safe as possible. The campaign has found that 36% of vehicle drivers said they didn’t know how many blind spots a HGV had and 36% also admitted to feeling nervous when passing trucks. This industry research highlights the importance of road awareness, not only on the part of HGV drivers but for all motorists.
Wayne added: “My leading advice for drivers is to remain calm, focused and aware when on the road. In our fast-paced and instant society it is easy to lose focus of what is really important out on the road and that is to get safely from A to B. It is important that road safety isn’t just down to HGV drivers, it is vital that all road users are aware of where they can and can’t be seen by large vehicles, education is the only way to provide a safer future for all motorists.
“It can be easy to overlook the challenges of handling a large vehicle which can result in impatience and negative perceptions of HGV drivers among other road users. Yet without HGVs and their dedicated drivers, our store shelves would remain empty and there would be no ‘next day delivery’ option for consumers.”
Positioned as a leading HR and Recruitment specialist, Gi Group goes above and beyond to provide training and additional workshops for its drivers and customers to positively contribute to road safety and do its part to protect road users.
Gi Group UK is headquartered in Chesterfield in the Midlands. The business employs 500 people and in 2023 is proud to serve almost 1500 clients from 87 locations (26 branches and 61 sites). Gi Group UK is uniquely committed to the creation of social and economic value for both employers and candidates alike. Gi Group Holding in the UK places one person in work every 90 seconds.
For more information about Gi Group in the UK, please visit: uk.gigroup.com.