Avoiding death or serious injury is a tangible benefit of a well-managed supply chain when it comes to moving goods around the country, delegates at the CIPS Annual Conference were told.
Freight vehicles that cause accidents and death are carrying somebody’s inventory, so does that not make the client culpable or liable in some way, asked Glen Davies, the technical advisor of the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS). Who trained that driver or possibly failed to spot that his license had been revoked?
Responsible procurement includes a commitment to manage any activity that can cause harm. As well as focusing on reducing equipment damage and emissions, Davies said he would like to see road safety clauses in contracts, just as health and safety clauses are common. Public bodies can lead the way by procuring sensibly, he said, and FORS can provide some funded consultancy to help.
FORS is a publicly funded scheme set up by London Transport, and now available nationally, where fleet operators can be accredited to the scheme to demonstrate best practice. There are already some buyers recognising it in their supply chains, but it has not become a standard practice yet, said Davies.
The FORS scheme trains drivers to understand vulnerability, part of which involves putting them on bikes. It also checks licences, health and wellbeing policies, and other driver management issues. Vehicle safety checks are also undertaken.
“The law is not enough, so we follow best practice and good practice and start to create some standards,” said Davies.