Why is it that some businesses appear to accept unsafe behaviour until something seriously goes wrong; then fingers are pointed and someone is seen to be accountable?
We have recently heard of an incident where an employee driving a company vehicle crashed and damaged the car and some property; which we understand has been captured in their reporting system. However our concern is that although a minor investigation has taken place no sanctions have been put into place. On reading the information released it appears the driver had dropped something on the car floor and bent down to pick it up and lost control. They went through a fence and did some serious damage; yet they are still being allowed to drive company vehicles. Looking at this accident they could of, if the surroundings had been different, perhaps have hit a passer-by and then the Police would have had to be involved.
Looking further into the facts the person driving has come from overseas and does not have a UK driver’s license and perhaps may not have been so stringently tested. This we think should make the organisation think more about who they let drive on their behalf and consider what checks should be in place to test knowledge and competence if they are to drive company vehicles. At the very least some positive action should have occurred after the accident.
It has got us to thinking about the checks and balances other businesses are applying given the influx of EU workers over the last few years; some from countries with a different culture to health and safety. Driver training has been around for many years yet maybe is not something that is well used by too many businesses.
Of course this same attitude would apply to many different workplace scenarios where a business just accepts competence without takin the time to check this out properly. Competence is much more than just a certificate; it involves knowledge, experience and attitude as well as a qualification. Yet how many businesses make the effort to explore this fully!
In the above case the individual and business has been lucky but next time they might not be so lucky. Positive action is needed to ensure luck is not the important factor in preventing such accidents in the future.