Cement giant promotes road safety

16th September 2011

Cement company Lafarge has spent the last four years actively promoting road safety in its quest to be one of the safest companies in the world.

Lafarge has a massive fleet of vehicles worldwide and its South African supply chain department manages thousands of deliveries each month, making road transportation a vital part of its business.

“Over 1.3-million fatalities occur on the world’s roads each year, so road safety is an issue that affects everybody,” says Lafarge Industries South Africa CEO Thierry Legrand.

Each year, the group dedicates the month of June to health and safety and this year’s initiatives focused on road safety.

The company has implemented a safety improvement programme focusing on defensive driving for all its drivers, satellite tracking of transport vehicles, roadworthiness checks and a fatigue management programme.

“The campaign is about edu-cating all our staff and working together as a team to ensure one another’s safety. “The World Health Organis-ation says that by 2030, road accidents will be the fifth-biggest cause of death,” states Legrand.

He points out that even though 90% of road accidents happen in underdeveloped countries, statistics from developed countries are also alarming. In South Africa, an average of 33.2 out of every 100 000 people die in road- related deaths each year, which is high compared with countries like Australia, which has an average of 5.2 deaths out of every 100 000 people a year.

The key message driven by Lafarge is that the risks of being on South Africa’s roads applies to everyone and, in line with that, personal driver road safety was highlighted at the national safety day held at Lafarge sites across the country on June 22. Staff were urged to adopt safety measures when travelling.

Legrand says the campaign is growing and producing results. All safety concerns and initiatives are addressed globally first, until progress is shown, then, geographically, specific safety concerns are addressed.