Good drivers, safer workplaces.

What makes a driver good? That was the question Fleetcoach COO Craig Cockerton posed to InZone Industries and Fletcher Building at their recent company days, where the key focus was workplace health, safety and wellbeing.

It’s an increasingly important topic being discussed within New Zealand workplaces, and one the teams at both these organisations are very aware of. “The focus on wellbeing and mental health is exciting and encouraging to see,” says Cockerton, who believes the cultural change in organisations, as they turn their focus towards health and wellbeing to improve safety, is the way forward.

“InZone Industries and Fletcher Building are leading the way to understanding that they need to take a proactive approach to risk. What they have realised is the correlation between staff health and wellbeing and driver behaviour on the road. That’s what we’re helping to educate and empower companies on - through days like these.”

De-stressing behind the wheel

InZone Industries, an Auckland-based provider of energy efficiency solutions, held their health and safety day prior to the 2019/2020 summer break. They understand everyone is stressed at this time of year, fatigue levels are high, people are rushing, and the holidays can’t seem to come around fast enough.

Fleetcoach’s session for InZone Industries focused on good driving habits and self-awareness when preparing to drive. It concluded with an exercise on de-stressing before driving. “A stressed driver is distracted,” says Cockerton. “And a distracted driver is dangerous. It only takes 60 seconds to calm yourself and de-stress before you drive, which is certainly time well spent.”

A single minute can make all the difference to your state of mind, and that’s what InZone wanted their staff to understand. If they take 60 seconds to run through the mindfulness exercise they were shown before they start the engine, then they’ll exhibit better behaviour on the road, and make better decisions while driving.

Focus on wellness

Staff wellbeing was also the focus for Fletcher Building at their December Wellness Day. The Fleetcoach team were on hand to talk about how staff can be well-equipped to make better decisions when they’re behind the wheel.

Fletcher Building understand when their staff get behind the wheel, whether it’s driving for work, or to and from work, there are plenty of distractions. It is often worse at this time of year and so they are doing their best to keep their drivers safer.

They know staff who are flourishing and happy are likely to have better driving skills. The best drivers are those who exhibit key behaviours including:

  • Looking ahead and eye-scanning to anticipate what happens next
  • Being able to expect the unexpected, and being prepared for different conditions
  • Focussing on only one task – safe driving
  • Checking in with yourself to determine if you’re ok to drive
  • Knowing what you don't know and understanding that driving isn't an exact science - it depends hugely on the human component

“We have seen a significant shift in corporate cultures to ensure people are safe on the road at work, and in their own lives at any hour of the day. It really is simple: everyone deserves to get home safely at the end of the day, whether they’re driving a fleet vehicle or not,” Cockerton says.

“We really enjoy being involved in days like these and are enthusiastic about the growing support and awareness around health, safety and wellness programmes.  Well done to the organisations who can see the benefits to their staff, which in turn benefit their business."