The road to FORS Gold
It’s taken several months of hard work, focus and dedication, but the team at our Greenford branch has secured Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) Gold certification!
What was first seen as an opportunity to increase our level of compliance by achieving Bronze accreditation back in 2013 has since blossomed into an ongoing relationship, which has been greatly beneficial for our drivers, managers, and field Transport team.
Nathan da Rocha-Thomas, our Transport Operations Manager for London and the South East, explains: “Achieving FORS Gold means a huge amount to us as a business. It showcases to our customers and supply chain partners our ongoing commitment to health and safety, our drive for continuous improvement and that we are always willing to learn and take on best practice to improve.
“The branch achieved Silver around two years ago, and this meant that cameras were fitted in vehicles to monitor safety, while individual colleagues were required to complete specific training to minimise the risk to vulnerable road users, plus a series of safety-related workshops over a five-month period.”
To take it that next step further and achieve Gold for Greenford, the business had to submit a case study to demonstrate how the branch has reduced fuel consumption and is taking active measures to carry out general safety best practice. The drivers also undertook further training modules covering fuel efficiency, emissions and air quality, plus terrorism risk and incident prevention.
Greenford’s vehicles are now getting more miles to the gallon, producing fewer emissions and are involved in fewer accidents per 100,000 kilometres than they were both last year and the year before. We continue to see these year-on-year improvements, but of course, this would not be possible without the dedication and diligence of both drivers and managers.
From left to right: Gezim Hoxha (Zimmy) (Transport and Warehouse Manager), David Nicholas (Driver), Sokol Daqi (Warehouse Supervisor), Hysen Cuka (Driver), Alex Essel (Driver), Marc Nicoll (General Manager).
Now that his branch is officially part of an elite band for FORS Gold accreditation, General Manager Marc Nicoll told us: “The process of going from Silver to Gold began at the back end of last year, and really accelerated in the new year. We then officially received the accreditation in March.
“Myself, along with our Warehouse Logistics Manager Gezim Hoxha (Zimmy), Warehouse Supervisor Sokol Daqi, and our three drivers, David Nicholas, Hysen Cuka and Alex Essel, have all put a lot of effort in to achieve this. We understand just how advantageous it is to be Gold, as all projects we deliver to across London require a minimum of Silver, which we already had. Some of our main competitors have Gold already and some don’t, so this takes us ahead of some and gives us parity with others.”
“The training would normally have been carried out face-to-face in a classroom, but it was all done over Teams. Of course, this meant taking drivers off the road for days at a time, and making sure we had contingency plans in place so that the day job wasn’t disrupted and we could still serve our customers.”
And Head of Transport Alan Newton was full of praise for the team. He added: “I’d like to say a big thank you and well done to the team at Greenford for the effort they have all put in to achieve Gold. Their commitment to producing high safety standards is exemplary, and we hope that this will be the first of many FORS Gold certificates across the business.”