The latest version of the FORS Standard is all set for its 2019 release. The scheme’s business services manager Paul Wilkes details what the latest changes mean for van operators.
The latest Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) Standard, version 5.0, was launched on 16 October at the FORS Members’ Conference.
The delegates in Solihull in the West Midlands included van operators who booked their places to learn more about how FORS is focusing increasingly on their specific needs in the light commercial vehicle sector.
The latest version of the FORS Standard – which will come into effect in January 2019 for both new and existing members – has, more than ever, drawn on the expertise of van operators, trade bodies, specifiers and local authorities to provide support and guidance specifically for the van sector. This approach has involved the creation of a FORS LCV working group, made up of van operators, leasing companies and stakeholders, to provide advice on how the scheme should be best developed to support the sector.
FORS has always had a strong safety focus and version 5.0 includes specific safety provisions for vans, such as a new Safe Loading requirement to ensure that any vehicle and trailer loads are restrained so that they do not endanger the driver, any passengers or other road users. To achieve this, FORS has confirmed the need for fleets to have cargo restraint systems in place, such as partitioning, racking, shelving, netting and sheeting, which are already common place among many fleets.
The new FORS Standard also considers the very real need to improve the current poor air-quality levels. It provides tools to help members strive for better environmental operating procedures and lays out a clear path for van operators to follow to reduce the environmental impact of their operations.
Drivers have always had a key role to play in raising the standards in the industry. FORS provides support for van drivers through the version 5.0 training plan, which includes a series of eLearning and classroom-based courses to improve their knowledge and operational standards.
The new Standard also reflects the current UK threat levels and the increasing need to equip light commercial vehicle drivers with guidance on how to respond to the ongoing threat of terrorism. It is important that those behind the wheel know how to minimise their exposure to risks and understand what to do should they be involved in such an incident.
For more information visit www.fors-online.org.uk.
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