Shell's Safety Culture and Big Challenges on the Road during Songkran
May 23, 2019
We regularly observe campaigns to help minimize road accidents during Songkran or long holidays launched by the public and private sectors and civil society organizations. However, road traffic fatality rates rarely fall. Statistically, Thailand is one of the most dangerous countries in the world when it comes to road safety.
The latest report released by the World Health Organization in December 2018 indicates that Thailand now tops the rankings as the country with the highest death rate for road accidents in Asia. Every year, road accidents claims 20,0000 lives, or an average of 60 deaths every day, putting the road traffic fatality rate at 36.2 per 100,000 population, causing estimated economic loss of THB 200 billion per annum. Road safety data show that almost 90% of the causes of accidents are related to risky driving behaviours. Studies reveal that the three primary causes of road traffic accidents in Thailand are: drivers’ behaviours; the interaction between people, vehicles, roadways, and the environment; and beliefs, norms, and law enforcement.*
“Shell continues to promote road safety awareness, especially ahead of long holidays like Songkran or New Year, when millions of people travel home. More people mean more chance of accidents. Having worked for a period of time on this issue, and combined with our programmes and studies on safety, we have been able to review new solutions for enhancing road safety that could be more sustainable than existing ones. We have also identified measures that can help us achieve our goal to minimize road accidents as well as loss of lives and property. This is because Shell wants everybody to return home safely every day,” said Asada Harinsuit, Chairman of The Shell Company of Thailand Limited, as he spoke about Shell Thailand’s aim to raise road safety standards and the company’s participation in solving road accidents in a more sustainable way.
Shell modified its “Road Safety” operational guidelines in 2018, and this is the second year in which the company has supported the “You are Safe, All Safe” project, which is being conducted in cooperation with relevant parties over a three-year period, from 2018 to 2020.
The project, which aims to promote road safety systematically, covers five areas, including building awareness, cultivating safety culture, developing defensive driving skills for employees in Shell’s supply chain, promoting law enforcement, and enhancing roadway environments. The project involves a trilateral working group, comprised of public, private, and civil society organizations, and is driven on a continual basis through collaboration with national and global alliances, including the Department of Land Transport, the Road Safety Research Center, and the Global Road Safety Partnership.
Safety starts from ourselves every day we do business
Last year, programs were initiated and sustained in several areas to build safety awareness and encourage collaboration, especially in the area of road safety. At Shell, employees’ driving skills have been improved through a combination of driving simulation tools used for drivers throughout Shell’s supply chain. This helped drivers to better deal with unexpected situations or immediate events on the road, as well as develop products and services that encourage safety cultures.
Shell’s efficient road safety management system and contractor safety management is higher than the standards set by law and are measured with clear targets (e.g., holding preventive training and practicing safe driving skills for 5,000 drivers in Shell’s supply chain within three years).
In product development, Shell’s products, such as bitumen incorporate the company’s safety focus by providing functionalities such as better drainage and adhesion qualities to ensure safe road infrastructure. Shell also promotes its service stations as rest areas after a long drive for the safety of drivers and motorcyclists. Other efforts include reductions in the usage of transport vehicles by identifying new modes of product transportation and expanding fuel pipelines.
During long holidays, Shell is always promoting safe driving to help motorists be well-prepared before and during their trips. Drivers can obtain tire pressure checks and receive vehicle inspections support from Shell service station staff. Additionally, 24-hour road assistance is available for Shell Club Smart members, with other promotions also available at Shell’s Deli Café and SELECT stores.
Build Hearts & Minds about safety, which starts from caring, not ignoring risks, and reducing risks, starting with children
In Thailand, data shows that teenagers and young adults aged between 15-29 are a group with the highest road accident death rate, with motorcycle-related injuries as the first leading cause of death in Thailand. According to death certificate information, 2,510 children and young adults die from road accidents each year and 80% of the deaths are caused by motorcycle accidents, which is comparable to the disappearance of one big school each year.
With children and young people at the center of Shell Thailand’s focus, the company executed several projects to study road safety behaviours and problems, including the “Childvoice to Safety” programme, which currently provides education on road safety, and safe travelling and driving. The program is aimed at reducing accidents in schools.
“Based on our safety campaigns among children, we realized that event primary school students can participate in safety culture as they can notice what adults cannot see. My daughter told me how to handle risk incurred from accidents, which can be prevented easily by always holding stairway railings whenever going up or down stairs. She also asked her grandparents to fasten seat belts before travelling.”
In February 2019, Shell announced the launch of a digital media competition on road safety, titled “We Power Road Safety Digital Creator,” which encourages students, software developers, startups, game producers and the general public to create projects that build awareness and provide education about road safety via a digital platform. The initiative is aims at advancing road safety learning among children and young adults now and in the future.
“It is always difficult for us to inform an employee’s wife and children that their husband and father passed away in an accident. This is the reason why Shell has set our Goal Zero ambition. This ambition is not merely an end goal or aim for no more accidents, but it is about building and sustaining a safety culture to ensure that everyone stays alert and remain aware that accidents can happen anytime when someone is careless. It is about how we can avoid accidents, especially fatal ones that can change someone’s life and the lives of those around them. We need to train children to be able to identify risk and realize the seriousness of accidents. When they can determine risk, they will be able to practice safe behaviours for themselves and people around them. We call this a change of mindset, which is the most difficult but most effective approach,” said Asada.
Shell hopes that safety awareness programme will be among the learnings that help cultivate a “safety culture” in Thai society.
*Source: Road Safety Research Center
For Media Enquiries:
Country External Relations Manager
The Shell Company of Thailand Limited
Tel: +662 262 7839