Arthur D Little has been engaged as an independent safety consultant at National Express since 2010, including helping to create and launch the Driving Out Harm safety programme. Since the programme was developed we have conducted six annual reviews of each divisions’ safety progress and performance. We report our findings to the PLC Board and make recommendations for improvements. We have visited a wide range of operational locations in all businesses. We draw on our experience of a range of client organisations worldwide and consider Driving Out Harm to be an excellent safety programme with very strong leadership from the Chief Executive, and highly effective safety governance from the Executive and PLC Board.
Our 2016 safety review has reached the following overall conclusions:
- Taken in isolation, responsible harm was higher than in previous years, which has otherwise trended downwards year on year since 2011. The increase was due to a serious accident in North America – setting this aside, total responsible harm was 10% lower than in 2015 and 60% lower than in 2011 when Driving Out Harm was initiated
- Reported collisions in 2016 are flat but the vast majority are very minor and average severity is decreasing – further supporting our view that the continuing focus on Driving Out Harm is delivering clear ongoing Group-wide improvements in safety management
- New businesses have made good progress in safety and, by leveraging the approaches and standards within Driving Out Harm, are demonstrating standards above those which are typical in-country. This is a consistent finding from our visits and reviews
- There is a very clear Group-led focus on further strengthening the primary area of risk – safe driving:
- ‘World Class Driver’ was launched at the end of 2015. 2016 has seen strong buy-in to this programme from the divisions with specific improvements already evident, and clear direction for further improvements over the next three years
- Where installed, smart camera (Lytx DriveCam) systems are being very effectively used to strengthen driver standards. Plans to roll these out extensively are now in place, which will bring a further step change in safety.
- Aside from driving, there have been continued reductions in lost time injuries across the Group
- The Group has set clear priorities for further improvement, based on learning from accidents, and strong ongoing review. These priorities include accelerating smart camera fitment and developing standardised approaches to driver evaluations and monitoring. In particular:
- The roll-out of DriveCam is a significant opportunity to enhance driver performance, through performance monitoring and targeted training. However, it also requires enhanced management capabilities to maximise the opportunity
- Greater consistency in implementing World Class Driver will also help achieve the Group’s goals
Associate Director, Arthur D Little