When it comes to inventing acronyms you can’t beat UK business for the widest selection. Throughout industry they abound; is it any wonder that with the best will in the world people get confused by this title or that set of legal obligations, known only by a set of capital letters? The transport industry is not immune to this, but it would not be surprising if, in these safety conscious days, a new to the industry fleet manager innocently asked the question, “Are FORS and CLOCS the same thing”? The short answer is no; they are not: But they are closely aligned.
The purpose then of this article is to try to demystify the two terms and explain the difference. The knowledge won’t have you running into the street shouting ‘Eureka’ but it will help when it comes to safety and security in the fleet management and construction industry.
Explaining CLOCS & FORS
CLOCS (Construction Logistics & Community Safety) is, as the name makes clear, targeted at the construction industry to recognise its responsibilities for vehicles, drivers – for example, delivering to and collecting from construction sites – and other vulnerable road users, like cyclists. The purpose being to provide a clear framework to ensure everyone involved knows their roles and responsibilities working towards achieving improved safety goals through CLOCS compliance.
It’s about good personnel and site visitor safety practice. Compliance with CLOCS will demonstrate a site’s social awareness and responsibility. Workers and visitors should all be made aware of any current hazards, on-going. The sad truth is that approximately seven workers will die annually as a result of accidents involving vehicles or mobile plant, with a further 93 seriously injured. So, although it seems like just another level of bureaucracy, CLOCS has a real purpose.
FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) meanwhile, deals more generally with the freight sector, covering all the variants of commercial vehicles from small vans to the largest articulated vehicles. In its current form it was established in 2012 by Transport for London (TfL). It’s a voluntary accreditation scheme that encompasses all aspects of vehicle operations, safety, fuel efficiency and emissions and offers three levels of ‘Olympic medal’ style awards. The scheme effectively applies best practice in the industry.
How CLOCS & FORS Work Together
For a company to effectively ‘go for gold’ with FORS means it will over a period undergo an audit process providing evidence of systems, procedures and documentation that demonstrate the company can meet the required standard of entry into a FORS Bronze accreditation. At this stage vehicles do not require on-board technology, crucial at later stages of compliance, but they do need to meet the standards of a mandatory audit. Thereafter, further accreditation of a fleet to a FORS Silver ‘medal’ will need to be proven via compliance and alignment with the CLOCS accreditation, on-vehicle technology and, additionally, also with TfL’s Work Related Road Risk regulation.
Working in concert with FORS, fleet operators should also have a Construction Logistics Plan in place. In addition to the safety aspect, the idea is also to reduce the negative transport effects of construction work on local communities and the environment. This is accomplished by providing a tool to minimise construction trips and reduce the potential for collisions with other road users. This is especially of importance in vulnerable areas; adjacent to a school for example.
Going For Silver & Gold
Fleet operators, using light or heavy goods vehicles and wishing to demonstrate to prospective or existing clients that they are adhering to national safety standards, can achieve FORS Silver accreditation by including on-board safety technology.
In addition to the basic Bronze level requirements that include driving standards and vehicle manoeuvring, this next level requires that all vehicles in the fleet utilise a high-quality camera monitoring system to minimise blind spots around the vehicle (near side and at the rear) while manoeuvring. This will almost completely eradicate the possibility of killing or seriously injuring a vulnerable road user whilst safeguarding the driver against avoidable accidents. This is in turn reflects positively on fleet management. The next step is to go for gold.
Key Facts and Stats:
The wise fleet user will take advantage of the very latest technology. It reflects well on the brand and has positive implications for fleet maintenance and insurance matters. The FORS Gold standard requires, perhaps the pinnacle of road safety technology; 360° blind spot monitoring via CCTV. All-around camera technology is designed for use in both the public service vehicle and commercial vehicle industries to assist operators and drivers in reducing theft, vandalism and risks to the driver. Additionally, the technology serves to help reduce crime and fraudulent insurance claims.
Award-winning technology lies at the heart of modern fleet operation. The addition of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and CCTV equipment to vehicles in conjunction with Construction Logistics and Community Safety, itself one half of a two-step process towards reducing work related road risk. CLOCS then, is designed to help work sites manage road safety throughout the supply chain and the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme is aimed specifically at the operators themselves; a badge of approval if you will. The two schemes combined deliver a unilateral approach to safety, ultimately aiming to save lives and enhance efficiencies. Most fleet operators will understand that compliance with both schemes demonstrates to both clients and the public at large that they have made a commitment to vehicle and driver operational standards in safety and efficiency. Knowledge of and compliance with CLOCS and FORS may not be the most exciting part of your day but they are likely to be the most valuable.
10% Discount on CCTV Systems for FORS Members.
As FORS partner EXEROS Technologies are here to help obtain FORS compliance. Our systems ensure fleets can successfully reach FORS Silver and Gold accreditation. 10% discount is available on wide range of EXEROS vehicle safety systems, including the FORS compliance kits, vehicle CCTV and driver assist systems. To get the discount simply quote your FORS membership ID.