Van Excellence Briefings dates announced

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The Freight Transport Association has announced the schedule for this spring’s series of Van Excellence Operational Briefings.

Sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Vans and headlined by ex-international rugby player John Dalziel, the three briefings will take place in Edinburgh, Derby, and London from 26 March to 2 April.

They will tackle the physical, mental and safety challenges facing van drivers, as well as providing up to the minute information on compliance and operating standards. 

With poor mental and physical health common among van drivers – which can affect their driving ability – the briefings will cover mental resilience, fatigue prevention, proper diet and hydration, and de-stigmatising mental health issues. 

Speakers will include representatives from the British Dietetic Association, Campaign Against Living Miserably, Transport Research Laboratory and the Police. 

The briefings will be just as relevant for those sectors which use vans as part of their working days – tradesmen and women from carpenters to florists – as they are for those operating delivery services.

“With more than four million vans on Britain’s roads, and the numbers increasing every year, safe, efficient and compliant operation of these vehicles should be of paramount importance to those operating them, whether in charge of one vehicle or a fleet of several thousand,” Mark Cartwright, the FTA’s Head of Vans and Light Commercial Vehicles, remarked.

“While technical skill and legislative compliance is, of course, integral to road safety, many businesses overlook the importance of driver health and wellbeing on performance.  Drivers who get behind the wheel when they are unwell, exhausted or distracted by personal issues are less effective and more likely to have an accident.”  

“The combination of unpredictable journey times, tight deadlines, a high workload and lack of social interaction can lead to stress, exhaustion, poor nutrition and dehydration among van drivers.  The 2019 Van Excellence Operational Briefings will equip operators with the tools and techniques they need to help strengthen their drivers’ physical and mental health.  Caring for drivers is one of the best ways for employers to improve their safety record; we implore operators of all fleet sizes to attend a briefing.”

Places at the Van Excellence Operational Briefing can be booked for £75 + VAT per person at https://fta.co.uk/events or on 03717 11 22 22.