Almost a third of fatal road accidents in the UK involve somebody driving for work (add link). When you look at the figures for serious injuries, you can see that around a quarter involve somebody driving for work. For many of us driving is the most dangerous workplace activity we undertake, but do you and your business prioritise fleet safety?
Obviously, safety is the number one reason for fleet managers to prioritise fleet safety. But also consider the vast costs involved in dealing with the aftermath of accidents, not to mention the time involved. It certainly amounts to more than the cost of implementing a robust fleet safety strategy.
But how can you implement such a strategy and ensure that it is maintained?
Know your drivers
Seems simple. But do you really know who is driving your fleet vehicles and what they are using them for? Do you know if they use their vehicle to commute? Do you know what type of licence they all have? Do you know their driving habits?
Once you’ve got to know your drivers and their behaviour, you need to ensure they are all correctly trained and that training is maintained. The number one reason for this is that it will help prevent accidents and injuries by improving driver performance, as well as saving costs and increasing profits. Driver training enables you to standardise processes for communicating safety regulations, establishing effective defensive driving habits and teaching general rules of the road, specific to your fleet’s vehicle types.
The best drivers are constantly learning and a core element of this is defensive driving. This teaches an efficient approach to hazards and defensive driving techniques, helping drivers to minimise risk whilst driving. This training can be applied to drivers of cars, vans and HGVs
Assess your drivers
It’s all very well getting your drivers trained but it’s equally as important to consistently monitor them. Employers have a duty of care to carry out driver risk assessments. Driver risk assessments are a legal requirement and help you prioritise the individuals most in need of driver training.
Poor driver behaviour can cost your company a lot of money. For instance, incorrect use of brakes— e.g. a vehicle deceleration greater than seven feet per second— is among the biggest contributors to fleet-related fuel waste. It wastes fuel as well as being bad for the environment.
A software tool such as Driver Profiler enables you to gain excellent insights into the risk posed by drivers. It allows managers to compare individuals and make decisions on the provision of driver training. It also serves as an effective recruitment exercise ensuring drivers fit the required profile. Best of all, it takes less than 15 minutes for drivers to complete.
Improve your drivers
Once you’ve trained and assessed your drivers you should have a firm understanding of their relative capabilities. At the lower end of the ladder, you can identify training needs, but what can you do with your best drivers? How about taking them to the next level and turning them into advanced drivers or riders, or even turning them into trainers? RoSPA’s Instructor and Assessor courses help you to instruct others to the high standard demanded of RoSPA trainers.
Investing in an effective safety programme is an investment in your fleet itself. While advanced driver training may seem like an unnecessary uses of resources, in the long run it will save your fleet a lot of money in operational, fuel and personnel costs.
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Our latest guest blog is from Roisin Kelly CMIOSH. Roisin is HSEQ Manager for Balfour Beatty CLG and in this post she looks at a simple approach can get the best out of employees…
Many years ago, I had an overbearing colleague who would continuously update the team on how much time was left to the end of our shift. This commentary, drip-drip-dripping over an eight-hour period, did little to motivate me personally.
Was this commentary the result of how our employer engaged with the workforce? Creating conditions that encouraged workers to ‘wish’ their shift away? Or was this ‘just’ someone’s personal style? Putting irritation to one side, it did prompt me to reflect on other ways in which I could bring the best out in the people I worked with, and then the change happened!
Simple approaches work. Saying ‘Hi, are you ok?’, and then taking the time to listen, establishes a connection that can reap the rewards of reduced absenteeism (without presenteeism), reduced employee turnover and number of workplace incidents, whilst creating conditions that allow people and the organisation to thrive.
Creating the right conditions doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply reassuring people that they are doing their job right, with some positive reinforcement, is all it takes. We found that people who felt understood and valued were much more likely to stay with the organisation, so it was a win-win for all of us. As we all got better at working with each other, the confidence to innovate grew, and people moved beyond the basic requirements of their roles. If things went wrong people worked together to understand the reasons why, and what they would do differently next time around. For me, this was an indication that people were connecting to each other and the organisation as a whole.
These simple approaches began to underpin the way our organisation moved forward.
With a focus on leadership and commitment, and with consultation and participation of workers in ISO45001, organisations that get engagement ‘right’ are at the leading edge, retaining staff in times of labour shortages, developing talent across the working life, to the benefit of both individuals and their organisation.
My message is that if you are looking to make a genuine difference, it pays to go to the source and understand the local culture in each business unit, then blend what you learn into an overall approach to engagement.
As a Chartered member of IOSH, a blend of technical and soft skills helped me clear the hurdle of the unengaged…the ability to listen, focus and create positive change sustains me, and helps me drip feed my team with positive messages. This is reflected in their energy, drive and motivation.
I’m happy to share my approach, and would welcome the chance to chat.
Roisin Kelly CMIOSH is HSEQ Manager for Balfour Beatty CLG; a joint venture working on behalf of Gas Networks Ireland in the Republic of Ireland. Roisin is passionate about engaging with and learning from the people at the pulse of the work, behavioural safety and mental health. Experience tells her that in order to create positive change and an engaging culture it must be the right fit, be measured and owned by the audience, not driven for statistics. She shares with us some of her learnings and tips on employee engagement to date and why everyone should be on board for positive change.
If you’ve decided a career in health and safety is right for you – then a NEBOSH qualification is likely to be your next step, but which one is right for you? To help shed some light on that question we’ve explored the different levels of NEBOSH training available and what each one has to offer.
NEBOSH award level courses provide delegates with an introduction into basic health and safety principles and practices that can be adapted to suit any workplace. Whilst award level courses are primarily designed to help employers improve their health, safety and environmental culture, they also offer a clear route to a range of higher level NEBOSH certificates for those who are interested in developing their knowledge and skills further.
The NEBOSH Health and Safety at Work Qualification provides a perfect introduction to health and safety in the workplace. The qualification covers the principles of health and safety rather than specific law. Its focus is on common workplace hazards and how to identify and control them. The qualification includes a practical requirement to carry out a risk assessment. No prior knowledge is required and the content is relevant wherever you work around the world.
There are a number of NEBOSH certificates available to delegates including area specific specialisms such as; fire safety and construction, as well as options geared to both national and international standards and legislation.
NEBOSH certificates are widely seen as the first step towards a career in health and safety, providing a good foundation in health and safety or environmental management systems and principles to help managers, supervisors and those in health and safety with their day-to-day responsibilities.
However, the NEBOSH National General Certificate in occupational health and safety is the most popular and recognised health and safety certificate. As a level 3 qualification (equivalent to UK A-levels) it provides a broad understanding of health and safety issues within the modern workplace.
Holders of this accredited qualification are able to identify, evaluate and control a wide range of workplace hazards. The qualification encourages a pragmatic approach to managing risk and covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK.
Many employers find that the NEBOSH National General Certificate can improve the safety culture of their organisation by providing line managers and staff with a sound understanding of the principles of risk management.
The NEBOSH National Diploma (Level 6) is the most popular and recognised health and safety qualification of its kind, developed specifically for health and safety professionals.
Indeed, in the UK nearly half of all advertised health and safety positions ask for applicants who hold a NEBOSH Diploma as employers increasingly see health and safety management as a strategic role demanding an appropriate professional level qualification.
This qualification assists in the development of professional competence, increasing students’ ability to help organisations make sensible and proportionate decisions in order to manage risk, meet business objectives and regulations.
Because of the demands of high-level study and time commitment, it is highly recommended that delegates have a foundation understanding of health and safety principles either gained from previous study, such as the NEBOSH National General Certificate, or from experience within the field.
How to train?
Once you’ve assessed which course is right for you, the next step is to decide how you’d like to train. There are three options available to organisations which include classroom, in-company and e-learning.
Classroom learning is considered the most effective form of learning. Attending a class requires an investment of time and effort, but the rewards are significant. The classroom environment removes learners from the distractions of everyday work so you can focus on improving your development skills.
More and more organisations are also using an in-house approach to deliver training to their colleagues. The great thing about in-company training is that it can fit around the demands of your business and is flexible in terms of where and when you choose to train.
A key advantage of e-learning is that it has a quicker delivery cycle time than traditional classroom based instruction. This is mainly due to the practical limitation of how quickly learning can be rolled out with classroom-based instruction, as the capacity to deliver is limited by the number of available classrooms and trainers.
Moreover, e-learning services provide a practical, flexible and convenient way of learning, designed to fit around you and your needs. It’s important to note however that there will always be some skills-based/competence-based subjects on which a classroom course is still the best approach.
Chosen your course?
Hopefully you’ll now have a better understanding of the different NEBOSH courses available to you. But if you’re still un-decided on whether or not a NEBOSH qualification is right for you, why not take a look at our Where will NEBOSH take you? article to find out how investing in a NEBOSH qualification could benefit you and your business.
If you’re interested in learning more about our suite of NEBOSH courses and want additional information you can also call us on +44 (0)121 248 2233, or visit our website.
L’Oréal were pleased to host in Paris the 4th Global Summit and Workshop of the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability (CSHS or the Center*). The tagline of the Global Summit was “Putting People back into Sustainability”, which is an important concept as for me, many companies don’t look at people who work for them in their sites and their sustainability. When sustainability first appeared, it included EH&S, but over the years, primarily due to the pressure from rating companies and investors, this has deviated to mean environment and CSR.
Hosting this first ever global event outside of North America was important to L’Oréal on this future-critical topic. We often hear companies say that people are their greatest asset, yet they can only talk about lagging health and safety indicators and very rarely disclose meaningful information, if at all.
Disclosure is key, as is having common definitions for both leading and lagging indicators. L’Oréal benchmark on health and safety with many multinational companies that have each developed their own definitions, and though the fundamentals are often the same, the details are not – some report on a lost time from three days, others include or exclude time not at work, some exclude ergonomics and others illnesses, etc. Lagging indicators are developed internally by individual companies, and here benchmarking is almost impossible. Consequently, we can’t really benchmark on leading or lagging indicators unless there is a change in the indicator, and then we can ask: why the change? If disclosure of health and safety indicators is going to work then we need to have a common set of definitions.
The CSHS Summit and Workshop brought over 80 investors, business and reporting organisations together to discuss how they manage health and safety performance data/metrics and what they do with them. The main function of The Center is to provide thought leadership in this area of occupational health and safety, and where it fits into the sustainability agenda.
Stakeholders present included CDP, BNP Paribas, RoSPA, AFNOR, Google, Danone, P&G, Nike, ABF, AkzoNobel, PMI, Michelin, Ecovadis, and ABB to name but a few.
The keynote speaker was Paul Dickinson, CEO of CDP, whose main message was that if you want to make changes in this area it will be through the corporations, and not through regulations. This I am totally aligned with, and if we look at the evidence of changes made in the environmental area it is largely business and individuals taking the lead.
For me, the main take homes from the event were:
There needs to be more disclosure on health and safety performance metrics – many companies don’t disclose and definitions are not standardised
The investor, disclosure and corporations need to work together to define what health and safety looks like within sustainability
Through the corporations and future health and safety professionals, we can change the way the people and their health and safety are addressed in the sustainability agenda.
The Center, supported by L’Oréal, will develop a strategic framework in collaboration with stakeholders to address these points, and will come back to the workshop participants with their proposals and concrete action plans as they drive the agenda to put people and health and safety at work back into sustainability. At L’Oréal, we see our participation in The Center as a way of reaching many other companies and having an impact on the way they see human sustainability.
However for us it doesn’t stop there – our recent initiative, Safe@Work-Safe@Home, is designed to take health and safety to the next level by taking what we learn in the workplace, outside of work. The program has no KPIs, no roadmap, no rules, except to share and keep our families healthy and safe. It’s a tall order, and the global program, which is in its third year, has the full backing of the L’Oréal Executive Committee and our CEO. We have local initiatives, guided by RoSPA, across the world, ranging from fire prevention to helping educate young parents in Brazil and China of household risk.
Together we can change the world and I truly believe this. At the end it’s all about people, people people.
* The Center was founded in 2011 by ASSP, CSSE, IOSH and AIHA who represent over 100,000 health and safety professionals across the world http://centershs.org/
When you work in health and safety, there are certain phrases and buzz words that seem to come up time and time again. Some of them, however, seem more prevalent than others. The term ‘safety culture’ will be familiar to most of us in the industry. Yet how many of us actually stop to consider what it actually means?
The thing about any culture is that, by its very nature, it’s difficult to define. That’s because all cultures are – or at least should be – constantly evolving, reacting to changes in the law, shifts in society and technological innovations. When it comes to safety culture, it’s no different. They should therefore reflect changes in the working environment, equipment, systems and procedures, and the people within the organisation.
We can trace back the etymology of the word ‘culture’ to Roman times. It originally meant cultivation of the soul or mind, and while its meaning has shifted over the centuries, it still implies a guiding principle that should imbue every action we take. If we think about this in terms of the workplace, it suggests that every staff member, from top to bottom, needs to both understand and believe in the importance of safety.
In other words, it’s not enough to provide safe equipment, systems and procedures if the culture doesn’t encourage healthy and safe working. Rather, we must create positive change in our workforce’s attitudes and beliefs towards health and safety, starting with the following steps:
While accidents and near misses in the workplace demonstrate room for improvement, they also present an opportunity to learn. In knowing how to identify why an accident (or near miss) happened, organisations are able to prevent it from happening again, and potentially improve processes for the future.
Investigation is key here, and ensuring organisations communicate their findings will prevent other teams or departments from hitting the same bumps, thus reducing risk in the workplace. This step can allow an organisation to fully understand what’s going on in the workplace so you can analyse accidents, develop improvements, identify training needs, and generally improve safe working practices.
Reporting Even if an incident does not result in a serious injury, conducting an incident investigation to help determine why an incident happened is imperative to take steps to ensure that it will not reoccur.
Following on from this – keeping records of all first aid treatment, inspections, incident investigations and training activities is vital, as this information can help to identify trends in unsafe conditions or work procedures.
Regularly communicating health and safety procedures and updates in health and safety documentation is also crucial. Communication really is key when it comes to creating a positive health and safety culture, and without it, organisations will find it difficult to have a culture at all!
Most importantly, expert health and safety training is necessary for all employees, especially if there’s a risk for potential injury associated with a particular job. By not providing the correct training for your employees, organisations are not only endangering the safety of their employees but will be held liable for the incident which could have serious consequences.
Ultimately, cultivating an effective safety culture is an on-going process and is a large commitment on behalf of an entire organisation. However, the effort can have a dramatic result leading not just to a reduction in accidents, but a happier, more productive workforce all round!
For more information on any of our occupational health and safety courses, please get in touch by contacting us on +44 (0)121 248 2233, of visit our website.
Low interest rates, high inflation and a rocky economy can make it difficult for businesses and individuals to justify expenditure on non-essential items such as training (especially if you’re paying for it yourself).
But embarking on training and giving yourself the chance of career development isn’t something that should be pushed a side – even if it’s expensive.
High level qualifications such as NEBOSH are no different in that respect, and fortunately there IS financial help available for adult learners in the UK, provided they meet the criteria of each scheme. Here are some of the options available to prospective delegates:
If you’re currently a member or an ex-member of the Armed Forces, the MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Service (ELCAS) scheme provides its members with a wide range of level three or above workplace health and safety training courses to further their next career step.
The ELCAS scheme provides financial support in the form of a single up-front payment in each of a maximum of three separate financial years. Depending on your length of service, you can claim up to 80 per cent of any NEBOSH Certificate and Diploma level course fees. RoSPA works closely with ELCAS as a learning provider offering an array of NEBOSH courses for professionals within health and safety. For more information visit our website.
For people resident in Wales who have been made redundant or under notice of redundancy in the last three months, they can claim up to £1,500 of funding for training. To apply for the ReAct vocational training grant, visit Careers Wales website for more on ReAct.
Charity and Voluntary Sectors
NEBOSH and the Charities Safety Group assist small charities and voluntary sector organisations by working with course providers who offer scholarships for the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety. Visit the NEBOSH website for more information on this grant for charities.
If you require further information on available funding, please contact us on +44 (0)121 248 2233 or .
With over 50 years’ experience in child car seat safety, Britax Römer offers a digestible overview to child car seat safety regulations:
Understanding British law
Under British law, children must use a child car seat until they are 12 years old or they are 135cm (4 foot 5 inches) tall, whichever comes first.
Two regulations – United Nations (UN) regulations R44 and R129 (the latter also referred to as i-Size) – apply to car seats in the UK. These currently run side by side. R44 will, however, be slowly phased out. This can be confusing for parents and carers, but it is important to stress that both regulations meet legal standards.
In addition, however, i-Size seats are tested for side impact protection. Parents and carers can choose the car seat based on weight (R44) or height (R129 ‘i-Size’) – see Table 1. Parents and carers need to change the seat before the child exceeds the upper weight or height limit shown on the orange sticker found on the seat.
Exceptions to British law
There are a few exceptions to the law. A doctor, for example, can issue an exemption certificate for children with disabilities or medical conditions. In some cases, the child may be able to use a disabled person’s seat belt or a child restraint that is designed specifically to meet their needs.
Children can travel in taxis and minicabs that do not have a child seat. They must, however, travel on a rear seat and, if they are aged 3 years or older, use a seat belt. Children who are younger than 3 years of age can travel without a seat belt in the rear, although this is not a safe option.
If there are two occupied child car seats in the rear and there is not enough room to fit a third one, a child older than 3 years of age can sit in the rear using the car’s seat belt instead of a child car seat. Children younger than 3 years of age must, however, travel in a child car seat. If there is no room for a third child seat in the rear, the child must travel in the front seat with the correct child seat. The seat should be pushed as far back as possible. Parents and carers should remember that it is illegal to carry a child in a rear-facing seat with an active airbag in the front.
If an appropriate child car seat is not available, a child older than 3 years of age can use an adult seat belt if all of the following apply: the journey is unexpected, the journey is necessary, the journey is over a short distance.
This exception does not apply to children younger than 3 years old. Parents and carers cannot take children younger than 3 years of age in a vehicle without a seat belt or the correct child car seat, except in a taxi or minicab.
Children younger than 3 years of age must travel in a child car seat. This means they cannot travel in a vehicle that is not fitted with seat belts. Children older than 3 years of age can travel unrestrained in the rear of a vehicle that does not have seat belts. This applies only to vehicles that were originally manufactured without seat belts.
The 2019 RoSPA Scotland Conference is fast approaching. The event is a unique opportunity to hear from experts as they discuss key issues through a range of updates, case studies and interactive sessions. This year’s conference marks the 25th anniversary of the event and is at the DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre, so make sure you’re there to find out how you can help us share the vision for health and safety in Scotland
Here are just some of the key reasons why you should attend…
The HSE will be there
We’re delighted to have the HSE supporting us at the conference and they will be speaking about 2 key issues. Firstly, Martin McMahon (HM Inspector of Health and Safety, HSE) and Robert Atkinson, (Organisational Lead (Occupational Health and Safety, NHS Health Scotland) will be discussing how to tackle work related ill health conditions. Then later on, Barry Baker, (Head of Operations (Scotland), HSE) will be going through the why’s, how’s and outcomes of an HSE investigation. Both promise to be fascinating sessions.
Meet your peers
How often do you get to spend a day in a room full of likeminded health and safety professionals? Assuming the answer is “hardly ever” then this event is perfect for you. Company directors, senior managers, health and safety advisors and HR professionals will all be present, not just from Scotland but other parts of the UK as well.
Support your workplace
Employee wellbeing is a massive issue at the minute, so what better time for an update on workplace wellbeing initiatives? Kevin Daniels (Professor of Organisational Behaviour, University of East Anglia) will be discussing the findings of a review of the scientific literature on implementing workplace wellbeing initiatives.
Keep your fleet safe
Senior Associate at Pinsent Masons, Katherine Metcalfe, will be giving a presentation on how to guard against employees committing driving offences. She will also be discussing what to do if there is a road accident involving your employees.
The Mavis Nye Foundation was created to inspire victims of mesothelioma, an asbestos related terminal cancer. The charity’s founder, Mavis Nye, will be sharing her story of how she was unknowingly exposed to asbestos.
Share your vision!
Listening to experts is great, but sometimes you just want to pick their brains and discuss the topics that matter most to you. That’s why each session will have a timeslot at the end allowing for you to put your views to our speakers.
So there you go, plenty of compelling reasons to book your place. All you need to do is visit HERE and we look forward to seeing you in Edinburgh.
Book your place before April 12 and save 20% on your booking price!
The following is a guest post from Britax Römer, who were the headline sponsors of the recent RoSPA Road Safety Conference.
With over 50 years’ experience in child car seat safety, Britax Römer offers guidance in keeping children safe when travelling on the road, by answering the following commonly asked questions:
Should I choose a R44 or i-Size seat?
Both R44 and i-size seats meet current legal standards. However, i-Size seats are tested for side impact protection. A R44 seat can only be used if it is a R44.04 or R44.03 seat, as shown on the orange seat label.
Should I buy a second-hand car seat?
We advise parents and carers against buying second-hand car seats. It is often impossible to tell by visual inspection if a second-hand car seat has been damaged in an accident or by being dropped. Parents and carers should try the seat in their car before they buy it or check that the seat can be returned if unsuitable. Parents and carers should make sure the seat can be fitted exactly to the manufacturer’s instructions and is secure. A seat that wobbles is either wrongly fitted or unsuitable for the car.
Until what age should a child travel facing the rear?
Height-based seats (R129 i-Size seats) must be rear-facing until the child is older than 15 months. A child between 71 cm and 83 cm tall and over 15 months old can be carried rear- or forward-facing. For weight-based seats, the maximum size depends on the weight limit for the seat – usually 13 kg. Some parents and carers may choose to keep the child rear-facing for longer in seats that are certified for greater weights.
Can children be left to sleep in a car seat?
Child car seats are not intended to be places for babies to sleep when not travelling. We encourage parents and carers to move the baby to a moses basket, crib or cot as soon as possible.
When will my child no longer need a car seat or booster?
Assuming that the child does not exceed the height or weight limit for the seat, they should use the seat for as long as possible as they will be better protected than with just an adult seat belt. UK law requires children to use a child car seat until they are 12 years old or 135 cm tall, whichever comes first.
Where can I get local advice and get the seat checked?
RoSPA can help with general advice through its website (www.childcarseats.org.uk) and has a free helpline (telephone: 0808 801 0822). Some local authorities offer child car seat checks that are organised by Road Safety Officers (parents and carers can check their local government’s website). The website of Road Safety GB also lists local road safety officers