Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Directors’ guidance have to be updated feels HSE Chair


The HSE Chair, has openly admitted that INDG 417 needs further revision. It will be done in the near future. Along with this, she has also discussed and has spoken at length on how to reduce work related stress and ensure safety for truckers. Read on to find out some rather practical and workable solutions.

Although there are no immediate to plans to revise the INDG 417 – Leading health and Safety at Work, which was published and came into effect in 2007, Hackitt however said, she feels the need for a further revision, which will be done in a couple of years from now.
Speaking at the safety conference of the Fleet Transport Association, at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, she told delegates that  “We’ve learned a lot in eight years about what people do and what they find difficult. It’s also about the style and means of delivery; the way people communicate has changed so much. It needs to be a lot more user centred.”
She felt that it is very important that senior managers lead by examples and incorporate the logistics of safety in the very system, by making it part and parcel as one of the goals of the business concern. This is especially true where much of the workforce is remote. She strongly felt that seasonal and temporary workers be given enough training before they are assigned to any given task.
“An increasing amount of freight is being delivered by self-employed workers, by owner operated HGVs. How do you look after them?” asked Hackitt.
Another key consideration is to ensure that the client’s expectation are in fact realistic. “How you contract with people can change how they behave. Are you allowing enough time for each process? Tight deadlines
lead to unsafe practices.”
Nina Day, a senior engineer at HSE’s research facility, seconded her thought. She also felt that rushing about, and being in a state of hurry, was a primary causes for vehicle runaways. She came to this stream of thought, after having spoken to HGV manufacturers and after having interviewed supervisors and drivers so as to find the root cause behind failure of the drivers to apply cab handbrakes and parking brakes for trailers. Absent mindedness and distractions, were often key factors.
“The drivers said they had a mental checklist, but sometimes they would lose their place and miss a step. It might be someone talking to them or their phone ringing, or it might be that they are rushing because they are running late,” she said.
Being overconfident and complacent was another cause. “Drivers told us, ‘I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I know the trailer is not going to move, so I don’t put the brake on’.” said Day. 
Technical knowhow was also a factor. “They said they understood how the trailer braking system worked, but made mistakes when they explained it,” she explained.
Strategies to reduce incidents of runaways were discussed and one of the idea thrown in the pit was to include cab alarms. This will remind the driver that the handbrake is off.
“Drivers were quite keen on this, as long as the alarm said what was wrong and wasn’t just another thing beeping,” she said. The important thing she felt was to reduce distraction and to train the drivers to go back to their checklist if they are distracted.
Adrian Jones, a national officer at trade union Unite, brought the ‘Better Loos for You campaign’ into focus. He felt that access to toilet facilities were akin to a “a lottery”. Some are plain dirty, some lack even running water, or don’t have a toilet roll or a soap, others don’t have a locking cubicle.
This lack of access to a basic toilet facility leads to some drivers reducing their water intake. He went on to explain, it is not just a question of unpleasantness. Dehydration severely affects concentration. Apart from this, companies should also care to both male and female drivers and look after their special needs, especially if deliveries are to be made outside working hours.