Safeguarding Our Future: The crucial intersection of climate change, safety and health in Fleet Management

  • 26/04/24
  • 3 min

On April 28th we observe the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, a global initiative dedicated to enhancing occupational safety and promoting preventive approaches to work-related accidents and wider health concerns. This year, the spotlight is on an increasingly pressing issue: The impacts of climate change on occupational safety and health. As the ESG Director at Fraikin UK, I am particularly invested in this area, understanding that Fraikin’s responsibilities extend far beyond our immediate operational boundaries.

Man repairing vehicle

Climate change and fleet operations: A growing concern

At Fraikin, where we manage large fleets of HGVs, LCVs and ancillary equipment, providing contract hire, rental and fleet management services to businesses across the UK, the implications of climate change are both direct and profound. Extreme weather conditions, from intense heat waves to unexpected flooding, not only challenge the durability and operation of our vehicles but also pose significant risks to the health and safety of our employees. Our drivers, technicians and support staff are on the frontline, and their well-being is our priority.

Building resilience through proactive measures

Our commitment to safety and health is integral to our ethos – You Drive We Care. In response to the increasing risks posed by climate change, we are taking proactive steps to safeguard our employees and ensure the continuity of our services:

  • Enhanced training: We are ramping up our training programmes to equip our staff with the knowledge and skills needed to manage extreme weather conditions. This includes safe driving practices in adverse weather, emergency response training, and health precautions during extreme temperatures.
  • Vehicle adaptation and maintenance: Recognising the stress that extreme temperatures can place on vehicles, we are adapting our fleet to be more resilient. In addition to our already regular maintenance checks, we are increasing our focus on upgrading parts that are more susceptible to the impact of exceptional weather, employing technology that can withstand extreme environmental conditions.
  • Health monitoring initiatives: The health of our employees is paramount. At Fraikin we are implementing more rigorous health monitoring systems to prevent heat-related illnesses, helping to ensure every team member has access to the necessary resources to stay safe, whether on the road or in the office.
  • Sustainable practices: In line with mitigating our impact on the climate, we are also advancing our sustainability initiatives. This includes increasing the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, alongside optimised route planning to reduce fuel consumption and emissions – actions designed to lessen our impact on climate change. Again, enhanced training of our staff will equip them with any new technologies.

Collaboration and community engagement

As we navigate these challenges, collaboration and community engagement remain crucial. We actively participate in industry discussions to share best practices and learn from others. Moreover, we are working closely with local communities to raise awareness about the importance of safety and health in adapting to climate change impacts.

A call to action

The intersection of climate change, occupational safety and health presents a complex but navigable challenge for our industry. This World Day for Safety and Health at Work provides us with an opportunity to renew our commitment to adapting to change, as well as leading the charge in ensuring a safe and healthy future for all workers.

Together, with informed actions and united efforts we can face the challenges of tomorrow which will help to deliver a better day for all.

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