Does your business use vans in its daily operation?  With four million vans on Britain’s roads, and the numbers increasing every year, the importance of operating them in a safe, efficient and compliant manner, should be of paramount importance to fleet operators.

To help ensure that your business vehicles are operated to the highest of standards, as well as protecting the health and wellbeing of those driving them, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) is organising a series of expert seminars nationwide, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Vans.  The events, which will take place in Glasgow, Oxford and Derby, will provide up to the minute information on compliance and operating standards, as well as highlighting the importance of driver health and wellbeing.

“Driving is the most dangerous activity that most people do at work, yet many businesses assume that, regardless of the number of vans they use, their duty to provide a safe workplace and protect the safety of others does not extend to their vehicles,” says Mark Cartwright, head of vans at FTA.

“However, according to the road safety charity RoSPA, more than 100 people are killed and seriously injured every week in crashes involving someone who is driving, riding or otherwise using the road for work, so it is beholden on employers to ensure that they and their staff are working in the best possible conditions, both mentally and physically, to keep trading without incident.”

The Operational Briefings are supported by Van Excellence Gold Partners Bott, Brigade Electronics, Hertz and Lex Autolease and are run by FTA’s Van Excellence Team.  They are open to all organisations using vans during daily business, whether a single vehicle or a larger fleet.  The events will offer advice from experts and practical measures to help organisations make the most of their most valuable resources – their staff.

During the day-long events, there will be presentations from leading experts on mental health, stress and managing an aging workforce, with expert speakers including representatives of men’s mental health charity CALM, the NHS and FTA’s own van experts.

Mark Cartwright, says working to improve the health and wellbeing of the UK’s professional drivers is a priority for his team:

“Van drivers work hard to provide a wide variety of services, which all of us need.  And those operating the vans need to pay close attention to drivers’ wellbeing, as it is central to maintaining a great safety record, reducing staff absenteeism and improving compliance

“Driving can be stressful and tiring and spending many hours behind the wheel isolates drivers from their friends and family.  Long days and tight deadlines can also leave little time for exercise. No wonder some drivers suffer from physical and mental health problems.

“The Van Excellence scheme has safety at its heart and caring for drivers is one of the best ways for employers to improve their safety record.  Anyone with a van is welcome at our operational briefings, no fleet is too small or too large.”

FTA’s Van Excellence Operational Briefings 2018 take place on 10th April at Celtic Park, Glasgow, 12th of April at Kassam Stadium, Oxford and on 19th April at Pride Park in Derby.  Bookings are now being taken, priced at £50 + VAT per person, by calling 03717 11 22 22 or visiting:

As champion and challenger, FTA is the only organisation representing the entire logistics industry. FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, greatly increasing the impact of our messages and achieving amazing results for members.

The FTA is the only organisation in the UK that represents all of logistics, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.