To ensure on-time delivery of products to customers around the
world, Reliance Industries' Hazira Manufacturing Division in Surat,
India, relies on a strong, efficient transport system.
Unfortunately, many of the truck drivers who hauled the company's
products had little or no formal training in the safe and timely
transportation of materials, which led to many accidents, delayed
deliveries, and damaged products. These incidences cost the company
U.S. $2 million and had the potential to significantly interrupt
In 2004, Reliance officials developed the Truckers' Safety Training
Program (TRU - ST) to educate truckers on safe driving techniques,
emergency handling of hazardous materials, and fuel conservation.
What began as makeshift training at various warehouses is now a
24/7 program conducted at the Truckers' Safety Training Center. To
enter the company, truckers must pass the program's validation exam
and complete Trucker Training Cards certification.
Fulfilling a Need
The first version of TRU-ST in 2004 only focused on providing basic
safety awareness to truckers, but since accidents continued to
occur even after this initiative, the program content was revised
in 2005 to include safety rules, safe driving techniques, hazards
of material transported, and emergency preparedness (actions to be
taken in an accident).
Reliance used the results (What have we achieved? Was the old
approach appropriate?), approach (change content, delivery, and
evaluation), deployment (conduct training, record training data,
evaluate program, create certification program, and conduct trucker
survey), and assessment and review (investigate incidents, conduct
monthly performance review, and conduct quarterly review of
objectives) model to upgrade the program.
In 2009, the company created a Distribution Safety Committee to
oversee the effectiveness of the practice, and it extended the
traffic awareness and defensive driving training program to all
members of the community. The initiative was implemented at one
manufacturing division of the company, but has been replicated at
two other manufacturing divisions.
Review mechanisms are in place for this initiative. The following
improvements have been made since the program was implemented in
- redesigning program to include hazards of material transported,
actions to be taken in emergencies, safe driving, fuel conservation
and safety, and HIV awareness (May 2005)
- create the Truckers' Safety Training Center (June 2005)
- conducting training during all shifts (24/7) (June 2006)
- making Trucker Training Cards mandatory for all truckers
- requiring refresher training for truckers (Feb 2007)
- training company employees with sound knowledge of material
safety and emergency handling to train other truckers (2009).
TRU-ST integrates health, safety, environment, and fire practices;
corporate social responsibility practices; and learning and
All of the company's 120 truckers received training, along with an
additional 121,870 truckers within the community. This program
yielded a very strong lesson: A change in culture should not only
be directed at employees within the company; greater satisfaction
is derived when it benefits society at large.
The number of accidents involving trucks either bringing in raw
material for process or taking finished products to customers was
more than 200 in 2004. Lack of safety awareness - unsafe acts by
truckers, improper handling of emergencies involving trucks, poor
awareness of hazards of materials transported, and nonuse of
personal protective equipment - accounted for more than 60 percent
of the 200 accidents.
Change in truckers' behaviors has been observed. The number of
incidents inside the company and the number of accidents outside
the company have been reduced. The number of accidents has fallen
from 152 in 2005 to 18 in 2009.
Since 2005, TRU-ST has helped the company reduce revenues lost from
accidents by 82 percent from U.S. $133,000 to U.S. $21,600 and
improve the company's image.