UPS lowered the frequency of accidents in its 119,000-vehicle delivery fleet in 2017 by 1% to 8.95 accidents per 100,000 hours of driving as it progresses toward its goal of reaching a rate of 8.75 accidents by 2020, the parcel delivery operator announced in its annual sustainability report.
During the year, UPS spent $209 million for safety training, including virtual reality technology that helps employees practice defensive driving during real-world simulations. The company also expanded the use of collision mitigation systems on vehicles. More than 60% of the company's tractor-trailer trucks, or 11,000, are now equipped with this technology. UPS added the technology to 5,700 Class 8 trucks in 2017.
"With these investments bolstering our health and safety programs, we expect to continue to lead the industry with low accident and injury rates," wrote David Abney, chairman and chief executive, in the report.
UPS added the virtual reality training to its nine UPS Integrad driver training centers in the U.S. Trainees wear VR headsets with 360-degree visuals and must verbally identify road hazards. The headsets replace touchscreen devices used in the past.
UPS has also fully implemented its web-based International Incident Reporting Tool in Europe and North America.
In 2017, UPS began beta testing of use of the Compliance Safety and Accountability (CSA) portal to manage regulatory compliance. The CSA portal provides a daily online feed of FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) violations. UPS uses the feed to track at-risk drivers and operations. UPS is expanding its use of the portal across UPS Freight operations in 2018.
Two new safety training programs debuted in 2017, including Feeder Driver Safety Trainer for the UPS Freight driver trainers and Supervisor Driver Safety Training for on-road supervisors. UPS plans to fully roll them out in the U.S. this year and expand them to global service areas.
UPS is striving for zero workplace fatalities. In 2017, 15 UPS employees died on the job, including seven incidents involving violence, four involving vehicle accidents, three in accidents at facilities, and one involving a pedestrian struck by a vehicle.
The company has posted, "UPS 2017 Corporate Sustainability Progress Report," on its website.