Safety is our highest priority in whatever we do as a business, and our performance is monitored by our Safety & Environment Committee.
All of our Non-Executive Directors are members of our Safety & Environment Committee which is responsible for reviewing and challenging constructively the structure, content and operation of the safety management arrangements put in place by management. Chris Muntwyler chairs this Committee and, in addition to the formal Committee meetings, receives regular input from the Group Safety Director on safety performance across the Group and its independent monitoring by Arthur D Little.
To complement the formal reporting lines in place and to witness first-hand how our safety management arrangements are embedded within our operations, Chris takes the opportunity, wherever possible, to visit key sites and engage with local management.
"In April 2019, I, on behalf of the Committee, undertook my now traditional annual safety tour. In consultation with our Group Safety Director, I decided to return to visit some of our operations in North America as it is our largest and fastest-growing division yet is also faced with some of the most challenging operational issues, particularly due to the ongoing driver shortages in the US labour market.
I chose to visit for the second time one of our school bus operations in New York (which the Group acquired in 2016 and which I first visited in 2017) to assess its progress in implementing the Group’s Global Safety Policies since my prior visit. I was very pleased with the progress the new management team had made and that action plans were in place to drive further improvements. Although still a new team, it was good to see how engaged they were with the Group’s best practices.
I also visited a number of our businesses in and around the Great Lakes region, including the Group’s CDT paratransit business in Chicago (which we acquired in 2017) and a number of our customer service centres in Illinois and Wisconsin (which vary in size and complexity of their operations), to observe their safety practices. I was particularly impressed with the level of professionalism at all sites, whether large or small, and how seriously safety is taken, reflecting the tone from the top. It was interesting to observe how everyone I spoke to at each of the different sites was speaking the same language about the Group’s Global Safety Policies and the benefits they were deriving from them.
My annual safety tours have always represented an excellent opportunity for me to talk to members of our workforce, including the drivers and technicians on the ‘front line’ and their line managers, and hear and see, first-hand, how the Group’s Global Safety Policies and other safety programmes and technology are making a difference. "
Safety & Environment Committee Chair
27 February 2020