Safety makes sense

by Derek Clouthier

LANGLEY, B.C. – Since taking over the role of executive director for SafetyDriven, the Trucking Safety Council of B.C., in October of last year, Mark Donnelly has made it his mission to do everything he can to ensure any and all safety measures are in place for industry professionals in his province.

Though admittedly not a health, safety or trucking industry expert, Donnelly said SafetyDriven experts have been an invaluable resource during his inaugural year.

Mark Donnelly
Mark Donnelly

“As I continue to learn more about health and safety and the industry,” Donnelly said, “I also see an excellent opportunity to build more awareness of SafetyDriven as a valuable partner for our clients.”

Donnelly brings more than 25 years of experience leading operations, marketing, communications and community programs to the position with SafetyDriven, which, among a variety of industry initiatives, awards the Certificate of Recognition (COR) to those in the trucking, transportation, warehousing, shipping and logistics sectors which exceed regulatory requirements when it comes to health and safety.

“As I learned details about the role and the challenges,” Donnelly said, “it became clear that the board was looking for someone with the experience and related skills to complement a strong team and an excellent foundation of health and safety expertise and programs.”

SafetyDriven’s efforts to help trucking companies become safer and healthier comes at no cost to the businesses, and as Donnelly points out, aims not only to help the larger fleets, but hopes to reach those of all sizes.

“The trucking industry in B.C. comprises of a relatively small number of medium to large sized companies and a large number of independent, small operators,” he said. “Prior to my joining, the team at SafetyDriven had done some excellent work delivering health and safety to larger organizations. But it has proven difficult reaching many of the small operators with a traditional safety management system approach.”

Donnelly said the small- to medium-sized market is an important one for SafetyDriven, and after nearly a year of sitting in the executive director’s seat, his vision for what he would like to accomplish has not changed.

“One of the most rewarding parts of my job is helping the industry by ensuring they have access to the best information possible to keep drivers and employees safe and healthy,” Donnelly explained. “In 1996, the B.C. commercial trucking industry had injury rates of 10.4 incidents per 100 workers. With a renewed emphasis on safety, that number dropped to 4.7 by 2014.

“But that is still double the provincial average of 2.3 across all industries. We still have a way to go to improve both safety and health and wellness.”

One of the initiatives Donnelly is particularly excited about is a new model SafetyDriven has derived which works for small operators who sub-contract to a single, larger employer, something he is optimistic will help small companies see safer outcomes in their operations.

SafetyDriven is also in the process of employing a new approach to how it looks at road safety, and how it impacts the trucking industry in B.C., something they have done in collaboration with the B.C. Trucking Association, RCMP, WorkSafeBC, the Insurance Corporation of B.C. and Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement.

“Our research tells us that passenger vehicle drivers are a very significant factor in many large truck/passenger vehicle fatality collisions,” Donnelly said, adding that the
collaborative partnership on this project is developing a program that will be aimed at providing education on safe driving around large commercial trucks to passenger vehicle drivers.

In the end, for Donnelly it all comes down to common sense – being safe is a good thing from both a human and financial perspective, which is exactly what SafetyDriven strives to help B.C. trucking companies achieve.

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