A QUEENSLAND organisation best known for its ‘blue nurses’ has won national praise for encouraging driver safety among its staff, winning an Australasian Fleet Managers Association (AfMA) award in Melbourne last night.
There were three categories in the 2010 Fleet Awards and Blue Care, a leading not-for-profit community health and residential aged care provider, won the esteemed Fleet Safety Award.
Blue Care’s fleet of 1452 vehicles travel more than 32 million kilometres each year to provide vital care for the frail aged and people living with a disability.
Blue Care Executive Director Stephen Muggleton said it was an honour for Blue Care to accept the award and he paid tribute to the organisation’s 10,000 staff and volunteers.
“In 2008 we introduced a series of driver safety and environmental educational initiatives aimed at supporting safe driving and reducing our organisation’s carbon footprint,” he said.
“This award is a reflection of our staff and volunteers’ commitment to embracing those initiatives and the hard work by our Fleet Services Unit and industry partners to deliver it.”
Blue Care’s research projects and driver education programs were delivered in partnership with The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ); Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety (CARRSQ) at The Queensland University of Technology and; Webfleet Fleet Management Services.
Blue Care Fleet Services Manager Mark Stephens said more than 3000 staff and volunteers attended the driver education programs throughout the state, and all 260 centres utilised the drive-safe resources produced with the theme, ‘Drive safe, people are depending on you’.
“The education and research programs have resulted in a 16 per cent reduction of carbon emissions, 35 per cent reduction in the number of third party accidents and 25 percent reduction in traffic infringements in the past 18 months,” Mr Stephens said.
“Our staff travel in varying and congested road conditions across cities and in rural and remote locations; and while they are focussed on the care of others, this education has reminded them of the importance of their own wellbeing as well.”
Research and new technology trials introduced at Blue Care since 2008 to further enhance vehicle safety include satellite tracking and reversing sensors and cameras.
Blue Care started as the Blue Nursing Service in 1953 and has grown into one of Australia’s leading providers of community health and residential aged care, caring for more than 12,500 people every day.
Photo : Blue Care\\\\\\\’s Fleet team with the Award. (From left): Kerrie McCarthy, Mark Stephens and Kylie Hawkins.