BOC already had a strong safety culture and a track record of success with telematics. Dashcams were the next logical step for the business – and the decision has already paid off.
BOC is a subsidiary of Linde plc, a global gas company and local leader in the welding products market. For 80-plus years, BOC has produced high-grade gases to supply industries including agriculture, welding, healthcare, and mining.
Business manager at BOC South Pacific, Scott Harder has been with the company for almost nine years in a variety of roles, from account manager to sales engineer. Scott oversees all aspects of the business for the Northern Region, working in tandem with the Southern Business Manager and NZ & Pacific Islands General Manager. The two business managers run most of BOC’s light fleet of 50 non-commercial vehicles, primarily for sales reps and engineering staff, all fitted out with EROAD’s Ehubo2 units since January 2020.
“The goal was for us to have informed conversations with our drivers and help them understand how they could become better and safer,” says Scott. “We needed something that would give us better information. It wasn’t us wanting to be Big Brother and watch the fleet and where they were going; it was more out of concern for people’s safety and wanting to make sure we’d given our drivers the best tools we could.”
Safety is a company mantra at BOC – it has to be, given the nature of their products – so they already operated in an environment where hazard awareness and CCTV monitoring were the norm. Because of their thorough onboarding, which included toolbox talks, team meetings, and a clear data use policy, both telematics and dashcams were widely embraced:
“For us, it was a very easy rollout. I don’t think you’d find a driver inside our company who doesn’t believe their driving has been made better having the Ehubo. That really drove acceptance of the cameras and was the main reason there was basically no reluctance to have them installed.”
As soon as the EROAD Clarity Dashcam became available, BOC was on it, and it was simply a matter of expanding their existing telematics data use policy to include dashcams and then answering a few questions from the team.
“One that came up was, were we going to be recording audio within the vehicles?” recalls Scott. That question turned out to be easy to answer, as the default setting for the EROAD Clarity Dashcam is that no audio is recorded. “We currently have no need to use audio recording, but we were very clear on how and when dash camera footage could be used for incident investigation, coaching, and relative disciplinary or reward actions.”
Because of BOC’s history with video surveillance, they already had a sound policy in place, as many of their locations have high security and/or safety requirements: “We have extensive CCTV coverage across many of our sites, so that was something we covered with HR many years ago in terms of employee privacy, the company’s right to record them and so on.”
All BOC drivers are expected to adhere to the company’s safe vehicle use policies at all times, whether they’re driving for work or after hours.
“Ultimately, they are bound by our driving policies anytime they set foot in the vehicle,” says Scott. But they also understand it’s for their own protection: “The vast majority of our drivers see the Ehubo2 and dashcams as something that’s covering them when they’re using the vehicle for personal use as well as company use. They want the footage, they want the data, they want all that available so we can exonerate them.”
Since getting the EROAD Clarity Dashcam less than three months ago, BOC has already seen benefits: More than once, the availability of footage has been in their favour. In one case, a member of the public phoned in to complain that one of their drivers had been speeding and driving erratically. Before talking to the driver, they looked at the EROAD data and saw that the speed the person was claiming was “drastically incorrect.” What would normally have been a difficult conversation was “quite nice, from a management point of view. We were already supporting that driver’s position because we’d seen the evidence versus what was being said by the person who phoned up.”
In another case, dashcam footage was quickly able to show that an employee whose vehicle was T-boned by someone pulling out of their driveway was in fact not at fault. This saved hours of investigation as well as a lot of worry on the driver’s part. Scott speaks from personal experience: In the past, he was involved in a not-at-fault accident where he didn’t have a dashcam or telematics unit in the vehicle.
“Even though the police told me I’d done nothing wrong, I was left with this feeling of, Am I sure I did everything I could to avoid that? Did I do everything 100% correct?”
In this instance, however, he was able to pull the footage, view it with the driver, and confirm that she hadn’t breached any safety protocols. In fact, she had handled the situation perfectly!
“Even post-incident, she worked out how to get off the road safely and acted in a very safe manner, and we commended her on that. We’ve been able to use the data in a really positive way in that regard.”
Scott says he could go on all day about the benefits. “It’s amazing how much reassurance having that footage gave our driver. Someone who’s been involved in an incident doesn’t need to dwell on it for a fortnight while we work through an investigation. If we can close it out in a matter of hours, that’s a great outcome for the business; that’s a cost savings for us. That’s hours and hours of investigation that doesn’t need to happen and almost instant relief for the driver concerned, their manager, and our health and safety team.”
Yet another benefit of having EROAD dashcam technology in place is the culture it creates when it comes to employee recruitment and retention. By sharing this positive case with their people, BOC was able to demonstrate the real-world benefits of dashcams and give their staff confidence that they, too, would be treated fairly if they found themselves in a similar situation.
Just two weeks ago, Scott was onboarding a new hire and going through the company’s vehicle policies. This involved a walk outside to see EROAD technology inside a vehicle. “I showed him the technology and explained how it’s used. Then I told him that story, of how the dashcam footage saved hours of investigation and instantly exonerated our driver, and he was amazed. He said he was really pleased to be joining a company that uses technology, and not just for discipline.”
If your health and safety team is considering dashcams, Scott advises gaining a thorough understanding of the technology first: “Spend time with the EROAD reps and really dig into what the technology does and how it does it.”
Then communicate your intentions and expectations clearly. “Keep an open line of communication with back office and your drivers, but also have a very clear, defined policy around how and when the data or footage may be used.”
Make sure your policy also spells out what happens when data or footage is used – namely what the steps are for coaching, discipline, or reward. “And stick to them,” warns Scott. “You can’t have one rule for some and another rule for others. The law doesn’t, and nor should any policy, footage, or data gained from a telematics solution in a vehicle.”
By being transparent, consistent, and fair, you’ll get more buy-in from your drivers. While he acknowledges that the high level of visibility may take getting used to for some, “If you’re a good, safe driver, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”