Our,’ Ten Minutes With,’ series of interviews gives businesses the opportunity to tell us how they’ve adapted in response to the Covid-19 crisis, what their experiences have been and as we learn to live alongside the virus, what their business plans are in the future.
This week we’re talking to Adrian Hide, Driver Risk Management Specialist who has more than 30 years’ driver safety experience under his ‘seat’ belt.
Tell us about you and your business?
I’m 63-years-old and live in the Staffordshire Moorlands. My Mum was Maltese and my Dad was in the Civil Service, and I was born in Malta. When I was younger our family moved around a lot and I lived in Malta and Hong Kong. We settled in Winchester and then moved to the Midlands 36 years ago. I have twin boys, three grandchildren and am married to my wonderful wife Dianne. I have a career spanning three decades in the road safety industry and in 2018 set up my own driver risk management consultancy.
I help businesses with driver safety and driver risk management in the workplace. They have a duty of care to workers who drive as part of their role, even if it’s driving from one meeting to another but many are completely unaware of their legal obligations.
If the worst happens and there’s a fatality, and it’s found that the company has failed in their duty of care the owner could face a corporate manslaughter charge, under health and safety law and at the least, a hefty fine.
I can help mitigate the risk by putting the processes needed in place and give employers and employees complete peace of mind to help them manager driver safety and, drive more safely.
What did you do before launching your business?
After leaving college I worked in a carpet and furniture shop in Stafford and then in 1986 I retrained as a driving instructor. I ran my own driving school in Blythe Bridge for a long time before joining Staffordshire County Council as a road safety officer. I spent thirteen years, in various roles, including managing speed awareness courses, as well as education, training and publicity for the County. The last seven years of my tenure saw me heading up a team of 18 road safety officers and administrators Before launching my own consultancy, I had a specialist driver risk management role in a private sector company.
What’s the first thing you ordered on-line during lockdown?
I knew at the start of lockdown I would need to adapt my business to bring in new clients, and knowing that face to face training will be a long time returning, I decided I needed to create a portfolio of on-line driver training and driver risk management courses – that meant I needed new equipment.
My first purchase was a green screen and studio lights so that I could start creating the content for my new E-Learning courses.
How did you cope in lockdown?
I guess I took a pragmatic approach and didn’t panic. From a day to day basis, my working day didn’t really change as I work from home most days anyway.
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t worried whether I would have a business at the end of it. I knew though that I would have to re-think how I did things to survive and that was a catalyst for me with the launch of my new E-Learning platform.
Have you learnt anything about yourself?
I’ve definitely learnt to appreciate the little things and to stop, look and appreciate what’s around us.
I always knew family and friends were the most important things in life, but I certainly value them more now.
We got to know and help our elderly neighbour because of Covid as well as our other neighbours (socially distanced of course) and that sense of community is such a positive thing to come out of this.
I’ve also learnt how to create video content myself which has been really beneficial to the business.
Are you going to do anything differently?
Yes – we’re already making a determined effort to see friends and family more and when we say we must meet up, we do.
I think on-line meetings are here to stay and the on-line learning courses I deliver will definitely be something I continue with.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to concentrate on adding more courses to my E-Learning platform to grow this element of my business,
The first course, ‘Safer Van Driving,’ is already live and courses in development are, ‘Driving electric cars for first-time users’, ‘Safer Driving Practices’ and ‘How to Conduct Vehicle Safety Checks.’
And finally, what was your dream job when you were at school?
I wanted to be an architect because technical drawing was something that I was really good at, but you needed maths and science qualifications to pursue that and those were subjects I wasn’t so great at.
I loved photography too and almost joined the RAF as a trainee reconnaissance photographer, at aged 16, but right at the last minute I bottled it and didn’t go. I just wasn’t ready at that age to leave home and be away from my family, which is ironic really when we had spent so many years moving around because of my Dad’s career.
If you’d like to be one of our, ‘Ten Minutes With,’ interviewees find out more by dropping us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.