In many cases, we work closely with dedicated contractors who bring their expertise to bear on our transport activities. We apply industry standards and where required supplement these with our own specific requirements to further reduce risks.
Road transport is a necessary part of many of our business activities. In total Shell employees and contractors drive almost 1 billion kilometres every year in more than 70 countries – equivalent to 70 laps of the earth each day! Our road safety philosophy focuses on the areas of risk such as the capability of the driver, condition of the vehicle, road conditions and local environment.
We set minimum requirements in these areas, based on the associated risks. This starts with our 12 Life-Saving Rules, which require, among other things, a detailed plan for specific types of journey, the mandatory use of seatbelts, a ban on the use of mobile phones while driving, and adherence to speed limits.
We set specific requirements for vehicle safety, which includes the use of in-vehicle monitoring systems that enable us to track and provide feedback to drivers on their driving performance. These are installed in our heavy vehicles, including trucks.
We want Shell drivers to be safe at all times, but we also try to reduce the need to use road transport in the first place: the safest journey is the one not taken. A number of our big construction projects have successfully reduced the amount of travel needed. For example, during construction at a chemical complex expansion we provided accommodation for personnel on the project site. Other projects used buses to transport workers, and marine vessels and trains to transport equipment, which reduce exposure on the roads.
Sharing our safety experience
We also support road safety programmes in countries where the existing laws, enforcement procedures or infrastructure may be inadequate. We share our road safety experience and knowledge proactively – with other companies, non-governmental organisations and local communities. We are a Board member of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) and helped to create its Comprehensive Guide to Road Safety™, which employers can use to improve their road safety programmes.
Safer trucking in India
Thousands of people die in accidents on India’s roads every year. In this challenging environment, Shell India has introduced a comprehensive safety programme for its truck drivers called HumRahee - a Hindi word meaning “travel companion in a long arduous journey” – to help them act safely behind the wheel.
Insights gained in just under one year have shown HumRahee graduates to be nearly six times safer on the roads than non HumRahee drivers.
Shell drivers in the programme take part in a series of defensive driving training sessions, which include driving in a computer simulator, before going out to practice. On the road, a camera and sensor system attached to vehicles records and analyses their real-world driving. Data collected and studied at the learning centre help drivers to keep improving their behaviour.
HumRahee also covers drivers’ health and nutritional wellbeing. Drivers are required to spend at least 30 hours training in a six-month period and can earn professional accreditation through the programme.