By Brenda Droog, Transport Manager
We’ve said it before but I think it’s important to say it again: Horizon Platforms has never been a company that simply focuses on meeting the minimum legal requirements; we’re all about best practice – about striving for and achieving the very best that we can, particularly when it comes to safety.
This ethos drives everything that we do and is the principal reason that we’ve taken our first step on the road to achieving the FORS standard, and I’m delighted to announce that we’ve been awarded bronze accreditation on our very first attempt!
What is FORS?
The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme – known in short as FORS – is all about good practice. It is a quality and performance benchmark, and a recognition and reward of excellence. Although it’s a voluntary scheme, FORS gives commercial vehicle operators like Horizon Platforms – and most importantly, their customers – the peace of mind that the highest standards are being achieved when it comes to road safety and the environment.
There are three levels of FORS accreditation: bronze, silver and gold.
Achieving bronze accreditation
Bronze accreditation confirms that “an operator employs good practices and complies with the requirements laid out by the FORS Standard.” (Source: http://www.fors-online.org.uk/cms/)
To achieve the Standard, we needed to highlight which measures have been put in place to improve safety and reduce vehicle emissions, incidents and accidents. This took the form of a system-based audit of our policies and procedures. The audit was carried out late last month by an accredited FORS auditor who spent a day at both our Wakefield & Warrington depots, checking paperwork, talking to staff and analysing our systems and record keeping practices.
Everything from our complaints procedures to signage, reporting lines and vulnerable road user driver training was scrutinized. The fact that we have a very young fleet of delivery vehicles stood us in good stead when it came to both the safety and environmental aspects of the audit as all our lorries automatically complied with current European standards. Ultimately, we needed to demonstrate that we operate in a responsible manner, have robust systems and processes in place and run the business well.
As he left, the FORS auditor appeared to be happy with what he saw. That said, the seven days it took to find out the results of the audit were strangely long ones! The news that we had ticked all the right boxes and achieved the standard was welcomed by the whole Horizon team. It means all our delivery vehicles are now FORS approved, and is yet another demonstration of our robust safety credentials.
Onwards to full FORS accreditation
This is just the first step on our journey to gaining the full FORS accreditation. It is, however, a significant milestone and a symbol of our commitment to going above and beyond in every area of the Horizon business.