On World Day for Safety and Health at Work, our employees got hands-on with safety as they took to the roads with our team of industrial gas delivery drivers.

Running alongside World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April was our global Linde Safety Day.  Whether learning about slip, trip and fall hazards or joining one of our HGV drivers on the road it was an activity-packed day for our staff with a serious message – safety is a top priority and our goal is zero incidents.

‘Difficult we do – dangerous we don’t’

As part of the day, staff from other departments joined drivers to experience the safety issues faced when transporting industrial gases on large goods vehicles.

In the UK and Ireland, our delivery fleet travels over 25 million kilometres every year making around 1.25 million gas deliveries to 400,000 customers.

Our highly-skilled, well-trained and experienced drivers have a constant focus on safety through Dynamic Risk Assessments (DRAs). This involves taking into account the current environment, trying to spot potential hazards, and then making the right choices to keep themselves and members of the public safe.

What our employees learned

Some of our non-transport staff spent a day with a driver. Here’s what they learned….

Paul Styler, Strategic Project Manager, Operations

We met at around 5.50am. I read and signed my safety induction document while my driver Paul carried out his vehicle checks very diligently.

“A lot of the delivery locations were hospitals – they were very busy with other suppliers, hospital staff and the general public in the vicinity. Plus, we had to negotiate narrow access – I’d describe these tight access points as difficult, but not dangerous. They involved reversing and negotiating past bollards and under overhangs, while also keeping an eye on the people around the vehicle.

“Paul was very astute, aware, patient, considerate and attentive. We didn’t have any incidents.”

Natalie Ford, Regional Planning & Reporting Manager

“We started around 6.30am and visited various hospitals in Sheffield and made industrial gas deliveries to pubs. On route, we chatted about DRAs and the hazards faced while driving.

“My driver, Steve, went through the vehicle safety procedures with me, including simple but important stuff like how to get into and out of a truck properly.

“Safety is second nature to the drivers. They’re in that vehicle for 10-12 hours a day and are constantly thinking about safety whether that’s in driving or manual handling of the cylinders.

“It’s been very useful to see a different area of the business and how it works, how they deal with customers and what’s important safety-wise.  They see safety as a critical part of their job.

Top 5 driving tips

To help boost road safety all year round make sure you follow these driving tips …

  1. Carry out checks. Make sure your vehicle is in tip top condition before setting off, looking at everything from tyre pressure to screen wash.
  2. Deal with your technology: We recommend you turn your phone off before you start to drive –BOC has a strict “no mobile whilst mobile” policy and remember programme the sat nav before you start the engine!
  3. Secure your load: For HGV drivers, make sure your load is secured and you’re within the vehicle’s limits of how much you can transport.
  4. Plan ahead: Check your route for low bridges, traffic, and closed roads. If you’re driving a high vehicle and are sent on a detour, it might mean narrow country lanes or low bridges – check to make sure there’s a route that’s suitable for your vehicle.
  5. Stay alert. From not driving when you are tired to being aware of other road users; driving is not a passive activity – it’s an active one. And remember to take regular breaks.

We practice what we preach to reach our goal of zero incidents every day.

If you have any tips or experiences of your own, please let us know in the comment section.

Philip Megson

Safety Advisor, Transport