Best Practice

ACTIVITY: Reducing Occupational Road Risk COMPANY: O Donovan Waste Disposal Ltd
SUB ACTIVITY: No Sub Activity Available COMPANY LOCATION: Markfield Road
FORS Gold operator - RUNNER UP


O'Donovan works continuously to ensure it is an exemplar for hauliers, recognised for its commitment to road safety, employee training, industry best practice and the safety of all road users. This has been achieved through the application of a wide range of initiatives and the strong leadership.

Vehicle adaption

O’Donovan was the first independent waste company to achieve the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) Gold Standard accreditation which it has now held for eight years in a row.

O'Donovan exceeds the recommended best practice of FORS by including the following safety enhancements on its the entire fleet.

  • Nearside blind spot side sensors
  • Reversing cameras
  • Nearside CCTV cameras
  • Forward Facing CCTV Cameras
  • Audible left turn alarms
  • Enhanced side impact bars
  • Fresnel lenses (as well as Class V and VI mirrors)

The management team has played a key role in developing innovations in the industry working through CLOCS. It has helped in the redesign of lorry cabs to improve driver vision and introduction of glazed lorry passenger doors. O'Donovan was the first company in the UK to add the Mercedes-Benz Econic skip-loaders to its fleet, encouraging others in the industry to follow. It now has the largest direct-vision, low-entry fleet for an independent, waste haulier in London.


O'Donovan introduced the CheckedSafe app which is used by all drivers when carrying out daily walk-around checks. During the inspection drivers can log information with the click of a button. The information can be viewed by others in real-time to others. The information is used by the transport

team to speed up the process of fleet maintenance. The App records the GPS coordinates, the duration of the check, any detailed notes added by the driver, pictures of any defects and the actions taken to correct them.

Operational management system

O'Donovan’s bespoke operational management system monitors driving behaviour in ‘real-time’ and enables transport managers to communicate with the entire fleet immediately, via a digital two-way

radio. Allocation of work is managed meticulously as traffic updates come in. HGVs follow routes with the least congestion and will cause the least disruption including avoiding cycle-hotspots and routes that have schools at peak times. The system allows managers to track individual driver’s locations and flags driving styles such as sudden braking, harsh cornering and idling, allowing further training needs to be identified quickly.


With a high-level multi-lingual training policy underpinning its commitment to employee’s professional and personal development, education is considered an essential component for motivating

and upskilling staff, whilst maintaining and delivering high-quality services in the safest possible way.

O’Donovan headquarters is a certified training centre, approved by JAUPT (DCPC) and British Safety Council (BSC), making multi- lingual training accessible to all staff. It is shared with fellow waste companies in a bid to encourage others in the waste sector to adopt best practice. Drivers handbooks are published in multiple

languages and there are five multi-lingual mentors on hand to assist with questions and ensure understanding.

A new addition to the training syllabus is ‘Security and counter terrorism’ which aims to better focus a driver’s attention to personal and vehicle security. It helps drivers recognise the potential threat of terrorism; specifically, theft of vehicles or loads and the use of vehicles as weapons.

Several drivers are qualified in RHA in-cab training, equipping them with the skills to carry out in-house driving assessments to support and mentor staff, covering fuel economy, reducing accidental damage.

To sit alongside their comprehensive PDP’s and classroom-based training curriculum, drivers also take part in Safer Urban Driving courses. Drivers cycle on London’s roads with an instructor, getting in close proximity to HGVs and buses. This gives them practical, first- hand experience of the challenges cyclists face and helps them to better anticipate and understand the behaviour of other road users, especially cyclist, when they are driving.

Improved driving behaviour backed up with anti-idling campaigns and DCPC courses like Lo-City Driving has resulted in safer driving and better fuel efficiency.


  • First dedicated waste company to achieve ISO39001 certification from BSI – May 2018
  • Insurance premiums reduced by 20%
  • Accidents reduced by 22%
  • Fuel efficiency has increased by 26%
  • Carbon emissions reduced per kilometre travelled by 19.5%
  • Enhanced sustainability credentials
  • Recognition as an industry leader
  • Skilled workforce with commitment to safety
  • More efficient business with significant operational savings
  • Reduced road risk for all
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