Road Safety Week 2023: The Central Role of Safety in RiverRidge’s Operations

This week (19th – 25th November) marks Road Safety Week in Northern Ireland; a week that provides an opportunity for businesses and organisations to reiterate their commitment to practicing the highest standards of road safety across their operations.

Waste and resource management company, RiverRidge recognises that as the leading waste provider in the region, the highest standards of road safety must be practiced at all times. The company understands the importance of adhering to the relevant laws, guidelines and legislations that are in place, and is fully compliant with the regulations set out by the Department for Infrastructure’s (DFI) Transport Regulation Unit (TRU), which manages the vehicle operator licence and associated undertakings in Northern Ireland.

Below are some of the ways RiverRidge is showcasing best practice and the highest standards of road safety relating to these undertakings:


High Quality Fleet

 RiverRidge operates one of the freshest and safest fleet profiles within Northern Ireland’s transport sector. With a fleet of over 120 vehicles and trailers, the company has invested heavily in ensuring that safety is at the fore of any new vehicles that are purchased.

In 2017, 20 new bin lorries with rear steer were purchased which maximises safety and precision when moving, whilst also maintaining the standard of the wheels for longer, and in addition, reducing emissions.

Front and rear facing cameras, as well as side cameras were installed on lorries to improve visibility for drivers, and all vehicles are fitted with reversing sensors to again, maximise safety for road users and pedestrians.

Each vehicle within RiverRidge’s fleet undergoes regular maintenance, with stringent inspections taking place every six weeks. This ensures that any potential issues are flagged early and quickly resolved, ensuring continued safety for all.

RiverRidge has been continually recognised across the industry for the standard of its fleet.

In 2017, it was the first company in Northern Ireland to achieve the Freight Transport Association (FTA) Truck Excellence Accreditation, and has also achieved the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) bronze standard. In 2022, it was recognised in the Export and Freight Transport and Logistics Awards, winning ‘Top Fleet of the Year’.


Integrated Software Technology

 RiverRidge has invested heavily in the latest integrated software technology to help maximise driver safety and compliance. This investment includes the installation of the Webfleet Fleet Management System, which incorporates tachograph, maintenance, tracking and fuel management monitoring.

The Webfleet OptiDrive 360 functionality measures drivers scores for safety and efficiency, whilst the Tachograph Manager remotely downloads drivers’ cards daily and automatically analyses infringements.

Remaining driving time and distance updates show RiverRidge’s transport managers how long each driver has left before they need to take a break to meet Working Time Directive rules.

 Drivers also have access to an app on mobile devices to conduct a daily digital vehicle maintenance check, which is automatically sent to the back office via Webfleet to ensure compliance. In addition, integrated CANbus fuel management allows the company to monitor fuel consumption.


Driver Training

 Whilst RiverRidge operates a high-quality fleet, it also needs highly trained drivers and driver helpers.

To that end, investment has been made in a state-of-the-art software system for training and development. EcoOnline provides a training matrix, containing live data, that shows an employee’s competency in relation to tasks required for them to fulfil their specific job role. The matrix allows for an easy and detailed overview of training compliance, and notifies the health and safety team, in addition to the employee’s manager, at various stages before renewal is required.

RiverRidge has also employed a dedicated Driver Trainer to deliver training on areas relevant to employees’ job role including induction, manual handling, banksman, risk assessment, SOPs and SSOW, in addition to refresher training.

Provisions are also made for drivers to undertake their Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training in-house, which is funded by RiverRidge, ensuring that their training is always up to date.

As a result of these practices, in July 2022, RiverRidge hosted a best practice visit by the Department for Infrastructure’s (DfI) Transport Regulation Unit (TRU) to showcase its continued commitment to compliance, and the undertakings of its operator’s licence. The visit highlighted the large investment that has been made by the company to ensure enhanced risk management, and continued safety.

Whilst RiverRidge operates solely within Northern Ireland, the company is proud to monitor itself against national industry standards, exceeding the regional standards and ensuring it remains head and shoulders above the rest in road safety. This is something that will continue in the months and years ahead.

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