Road safety training has taken place for the first time for the Moldovan employees of company Gas Natural Fenosa following an EASST occupational road safety initiative launched in 2013 in partnership with its local partner the Automobile Club of Moldova and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The ‘Driving Business Safely’ campaign was launched in February 2013 to tackle the high rate of work-related road injuries in Moldova. The two-day launch workshop held in the Moldovan capital Chisinau on 13-14th February brought together stakeholders concerned with the number of work-related road incidents in the country, specifically those involving public transport fleets and drivers. The event was supported by Minister for the Interior Dorin Recean, and brought Formula 1 driver and EASST Ambassador Alex Wurz and his team from Test & Training International, experts from the Kent ‘Get a Grip’ campaign along with the Freight Transport Association to Chisinau to share their approach to road safety management. A number of fatal public and commercial transport crashes have occurred in recent years in Moldova at huge cost – both human and economic. The issue has now become prominent on the political agenda in Moldova, where there is a new desire to find effective solutions.

With sponsorship from the EBRD and EASST, the Working Party established as a result of the February 2013 events came to the UK to see first-hand the measures taken by leading UK-based companies to reduce road risk in their businesses and for the community as a whole. The two-day trip was hosted by Shell International, with the support of, GoAhead Buses, Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police.

The six members of the Moldovan delegation were individuals in a strong position to promote good occupational road safety practice in Moldova:

Dan Chirita, Chief of the Unique Center of Video Monitoring; Service of Information Technologies, General Police Inspectorate of Moldova
Nicolae Seredneac, Director, Autorapid SRL, Chisinau Maxi Taxi company
Liuba Popa, Gas Natural Fenosa (natural gas retailer), Responsible for General Service and Transport
Lilian Copaci, Chief of the Transport Management Department, Chisinau Municipal Authority Transport Department
Gheorghe Morgoci, Director, RTEC ­ the Chisinau trolley bus company
Marcel Lupanciuc, Deputy Director Service Operations, Chisinau Bus Company

The group returned to Moldova with a detailed knowledge of UK occupational road safety policies and best practice with a view to implementing changes within their workplaces in Moldova.

Employees at Gas Natural Fenosa receive training from the ACM

One of the most successful results of the initiatve has been the delivery of a road safety training course for drivers at Gas Natural Fenosa which took place on 17th July 2014 organised by Mrs Liuba Popa, one of the delegation visitng the UK in November 2013. The ACM team, assisted by Mihai Rusu from the Unique Centre of Video Monitoring and Mr. Sergiu Enache from Gas Natural Fenosa, instructed the drivers on safe driving while at work including extreme weather driving (a particular problem) and other road conditions. Employees were presented with reflective stickers and informative brochures tackling different road safety issues such as as seatbelt use, drink driving, checking tyre quality, pedestrian safety and first aid.

Other members of the working group have been succesful in implementing new rules and initiatives within their companies on issues such as alcohol consumption, working hours and rest, video surveillance and distributing road safety messages to its employees.