HW Richardson is one of New Zealand’s largest transport companies. With its fleet of 770 vehicles and staff of 1500, the process of undergoing a safety audit might have seemed daunting. Yet HW Richardson, recently attaining Gold Accreditation in the ACC Fleet Saver Programme, found that the accreditation process simply complemented everything that they were already doing. “It endorses all the same measures that we take right now,” says Michael Gebbie, General Manager Risk of HW Richardson.
Michael admits that initially they were unsure of what to expect of the ACC Fleet Saver programme. However, they were pleased to find how well ACC Fleet Saver fits in with the ACC Partnership Programme. “If you’re involved with that you’re a long way down the road towards ACC Fleet Saver already,” says Michael.
Michael’s stance on recommending the programme is clear-cut. He urges his industry peers to “absolutely aim for ACC health and safety accreditation and ACC Fleet Saver.” Although HW Richardson is a large firm, Michael encourages business of all sizes to apply. “You’re not going to lose anything by having a go. It’s a great way of benchmarking and understanding where you stand.”
When it comes to the benefits of ACC’s Fleet Saver Gold Accreditation, Michael cites the positive impact on businesses, staff, customers and the entire transport industry. There’s the financial reward of significant reduction in vehicle registration costs. There’s the satisfaction for drivers, who are pleased to be recognised for doing things as well as they do. There’s the positive impact on customers by making New Zealand’s roads safer. But for Michael, the benefits can extend beyond that to reach the transport industry as a whole, working to strengthen its reputation and combat the negative effect that some operators inflict. “I think, by and large, the transport industry operates in a safe way, but it’s the actions of a few that hurt our reputation. It [ACC Fleet Saver] helps give the industry a more positive name.”
As well as the more tangible benefits, Michael points out that the ACC Fleet Saver Programme gives transport companies the opportunity to gain official recognition that they’re doing everything right. “I think it’s a great way of recognising safe transport operators out there. We know that we do a lot of things very well in this industry, so it’s good to have that recognition.”
The ACC Fleet Saver Programme not only gives companies the opportunity to gain acknowledgment of their safety practices, it also proves their effectiveness. “It’s helpful to be able to show that all the safety initiatives we have are working. It proves that safety is good business.”