A nationwide commercial vehicle provider has reached a significant milestone as part of its commitment to road safety.
Go Plant Fleet Services has now put more than 200 of its drivers through the Highways England Passport scheme.
And it has revealed plans to ensure every one of its 400-plus operators around the UK hold the qualification by 2020.
Health and Safety manager Adam Wilson believes the milestone is an illustration of the company’s commitment to compliance – and proof that it’s leading the way within the industry.
He said: “The Passport scheme sets a common safety standard for more than 50,000 workers across the entire Highways England supply chain.
“We were quick to get on board with the initiative and more of our contracting drivers have reached the required standard than any other specialist vehicle provider.
“The fact that over 200 of our drivers have secured Highways England Passports in a short period of time is a magnificent effort and a real indication of our commitment to these requirements and to compliance and safety in general.
“While some may not always have the opportunity to work on Highways England projects we see a value in putting our drivers through this.
“It’s a strong course and working to these high standards means their skills can be transferred to other projects requiring exacting safety standards.
“As a company, we recognise the value of our staff being the experts in their field so that we’re fully prepared for larger contracting projects.”
The scheme simplifies access to Highways England construction sites through the issue of a personalised smart card which provides proof of competency, qualification and fitness to work.
Passports, which can last for five years, are issued to those who pass an external one-day ‘Common Induction’ course, delivered by training body Lantra.
Subjects covered include working on the Highways England network, occupational health and well-being, working with temporary traffic management, fatal risks and environmental protection.
Mr Wilson added: “We have courses booked at every one of our regional depots from now until June and we aim to have all our drivers complete the programme by 2020.”
“The proof of concept trial concludes in October, but we have acted early and embraced what is a valuable health and safety training course to gain the Passport.
“We believe in the benefits that the card system will bring such as recording competencies, site inductions and working time on the network.”
The initiative enables Highways England to build a picture of the workforce and delivers substantial benefits to contractors too.
Card holders can transfer seamlessly between sites and suppliers and there are improvements to site entry times, verification and risk management.
It also helps employees to store training records, qualifications and competency details on one training smartcard.
Go Plant Fleet Services provides access to specialist commercial vehicles including refuse collection trucks, gritters, cage tippers and road sweepers on both short and long-term hire, as well as a comprehensive suite of fleet management services, including repair and maintenance.
The company, which has 40 years’ experience in the industry, now has revenue of around £85 million and employs over 800 staff across 49 depots and service centres nationwide.