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Balfour Beatty and Reach Contact win Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards

Two of Britain’s major businesses have won prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards for initiatives they have taken to cut road crashes involving employees.

Balfour Beatty has won the Fleet Safety Award sponsored by Fleet Support Group, while shopper marketing solutions company Reach Contact Ltd has won the Fleet Safety Award sponsored by IAM Drive & Survive.

The 2010 Awards were officially announced today (Tuesday, December 7) at a ceremony at London’s Savoy Hotel hosted by Prince Michael of Kent. He founded the awards 23 years ago to give public recognition to organisations and individuals throughout Britain – and more recently worldwide – who have made a major contribution to improving road safety.

Prince Michael said: "Both companies have implemented far-reaching occupational road risk management programmes that all other businesses would do well to follow.

"Both are tremendous examples of what can be achieved in improving the safety of employees and all other road users if organisations at board level have the desire to invest in road safety."

Infrastructure services business Balfour Beatty operates a fleet of more than 14,000 vehicles in the UK across a number of divisions. The company’s Plant & Fleet Services division is among the more than 50 organisations that have earned ‘business champion’ status under the Government-backed ‘Driving for Better Business’ campaign, which is delivered by RoadSafe.

The ‘business champion’ fleets from across the public and private sectors have all agreed to showcase their own good practice, with the aim of encouraging other organisations to adopt sound safe driving management policies.

An estimated 150 road deaths and serious injuries a week result from crashes involving at work drivers with more employees killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads while driving on behalf of their employer than in any other work-related activity.

Commenting on Balfour Beatty’s approach to improving the road safety of its employees and other road users, Prince Michael said: "The company is striving to lead the way having set a goal to achieve Zero Harm across all its businesses by 2012. This means that it will operate in a safe manner leading to zero fatalities, zero permanently disabling injuries and zero injuries to the public."

Steve Farmer, managing director of Balfour Beatty Plant & Fleet Services, said: "We are proud and delighted to receive a Prince Michael Award in recognition of the actions we have taken in managing occupational road risk.

"The safety of our drivers and members of the public are of paramount importance and we are continually reviewing ways to improve our position and introduce new initiatives."

Reach, which supplies full-time contract sales, short-term channel and consumer activation and telesales/direct mail services to organisations around the UK and Europe to clients including Britvic, Diageo, Nestle, Premier Foods, Unilever and Vodafone, operates a UK fleet of more than 600 vehicles.

Prince Michael said: "Many of the company’s drivers are young people aged 22-30 so are amongst the ‘high risk’ drivers on the UK’s roads. It is therefore very gratifying to see the company invest in their safety through a series of management initiatives. One vital innovation has been an NVQ ‘competence-based’ qualification for staff who drive on company business."

Peter Handscomb, financial director of Reach, which is headquartered in Woking, said: "We could not be happier that our efforts to manage risk have been recognised by the Prince Michael Awards. Our approach involves protecting our employees from a risk viewpoint as well as protecting our clients’ reputations. The programme has already paid for itself and we expect to reap further benefits as our accident rates and insurance premiums continue to decrease."

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