What’s driving your policy?
10 June 2013
In recent discussions with a haulier over Health & Safety issues, it was apparent that they had purchased an ‘off-the-shelf’ Safety Policy template, simply rebranding it as ‘their’ gospel.The document gave advice about passengers wearing seatbelts including in the rear seats (of a truck?), mobile phones being turned off before driving, their whistle-blowing policy and maternity arrangements (no, there weren’t any female staff).
Obvious omissions included the need for hi-conspicuity clothing, load restraints, safe use of fork-trucks and manoeuvring safety advice (a common high-risk area that was more than apparent that day).
It is depressing that this company couldn’t recognise the difference between legal requirements for a safety culture that is documented, compared with a box-ticking ‘policy’ to evidence compliance. Sadly in the event that a serious injury or fatality occurs, even the least-experienced investigator would recognise obvious failings likely to lead to a prosecution. Moreover the gap between reality and what could have been makes the serious injury much more likely.
Creating important documentation from nothing is a challenge. Using a template to help is a sensible option, but only when that template is adapted to provide safe guidance and reflect what should really happen in that environment.
Driving is the most dangerous and most frequent activity we engage in. Good risk management demands sound understanding of your driving risks and for the human involvement to be effective.
Cardinus Risk Management would be pleased to help with advice and guidance, contact us on 01733 426015.