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Kleenheat holds driver safety forums to embed a safety culture

With 300 drivers responsible for distributing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) across Australia safely, Kleenheat identified a significant need to engage drivers on safety, through a two-way learning and communication 'Driver Safety Forum'.

The geographical spread of drivers and isolated nature of the role makes it hard for Kleenheat to communicate with and engage drivers, particularly in relation to safety. It also means there are few opportunities for two-way communication between the drivers and senior management, which makes ongoing improvement challenging.

Adding to the challenge, approximately 90 per cent of Kleenheat’s drivers are contractors and each contracting company has its own approach to safety.

The Driver Safety Forum brought a mix of drivers, contractor principals, senior managers, and team members from sales and logistics together for the first time, to exchange thoughts and ideas and discuss issues and concerns.

This industry-leading approach to safety engaged drivers in a new way and built on the substantial body of safety training already completed by drivers. Experts in the fields of fatigue, behavioural change, and manual handling facilitated interactive sessions on the importance of these topics and their connection to safety.

The forums also created a rare opportunity to embed the Kleenheat safety culture within a contractor-dominated workforce, as well as providing a two-way learning process: senior managers and logistics and sales team members also learned about challenges drivers face.

The forums have been successful in delivering benefits to Kleenheat that extend beyond safety. The relationship and understanding between Kleenheat’s drivers and management has improved; management has a clearer understanding of the issues facing drivers on the road; drivers feel part of the team, and communicate with each other face-to-face; and the contractor drivers and their employees were able to learn more about Kleenheat’s business – its vision, values, and policies. This contributed to protecting and enhancing Kleenheat’s reputation as well as keeping more drivers safe.