The Safest Drivers on Earth
Every year since 1923, UPS honors drivers who reach safe driving milestones through its esteemed Circle of Honor program. In 2017, 1,582 new drivers were inducted into the ranks, pushing membership past the 10,000-mark for the first time in the company’s history. Collectively, the 2017 UPS Circle of Honor class has achieved 39,550 years of safe driving and represents regions and countries from around the world, including the United States, Canada, Latin America, Germany, France, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
Nine of the 2017 Circle of Honor inductees are from UPS’s Earth City Operation, located just outside St. Louis, Missouri. The team is known for its strong employee-led safety culture, which includes daily meetings and robust mentoring programs. In fact, its package operations’ safety record ranked first in its region and fourth among facilities of similar size across the United States in 2017.
“In this day and age, it seems it would be harder to be a safe driver because people are texting and so distracted, and you're watching out for them and yourself,” says Earth City UPS Driver Marci Brands, a 2017 inductee into the UPS Circle of Honor.
Drivers like Marci and Steve Loftus, a 25-year Circle of Honor member, say it’s the culture and overall team commitment to safety that makes Earth City unique.
“It’s a culture,” says Waring Lester, Operations Manager. “When you walk into any of our facilities on any given day it’s always something creative and there’s a message of safety that comes with that.”
Drivers on the safety committee use visuals, role play, and even a well-travelled mannequin to teach and act out safety methods.
Marci says she tells new drivers who would one day like to be in the Circle of Honor to pay close attention to the driver training.
“And if they need help, talk to each other, because we can make a big difference.”