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Know Workplace Health And Safety Principles Assignment

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Added on: 2023-02-27 05:10:47
Order Code: 486895
Question Task Id: 0

A haulage company owns and operates one site from which it runs a fleet of 40 trucks, many of which are over 10 years old. The organisation has been operating for nearly 60 years and has grown from an initial workforce of 5, to 150 workers (a mixture of drivers, vehicle maintenance and office workers). The haulage company is still operating on the same site and using the same buildings as they did 60 years ago. The current managing director (MD) took over the role when their father retired 25 years ago.

The haulage company’s main contract is to deliver car parts across Europe for a major car manufacturer. This contract was put in place nearly 20 years ago, at a time when the car manufacturer only made and sold cars in their country (they did not export). The contract was negotiated between the MD’s of the two organisations, who are old school friends. There has been no significant review of the contract terms since it was signed, other than an annual financial review.

Over the past few years there have been numerous health and safety breaches at the haulage company’s site. For example, six months ago a family member of one of the maintenance workers entered the site and was run over by a forklift truck which broke their foot. The worker took their family member to hospital. After leaving the hospital, they rang a lawyer for an initial consultation about bringing a compensation claim against the haulage company. Following the consultation, the lawyer also advised the worker to check that the organisation had reported the issue to the enforcement authority. When the worker approached the MD, they were told that it would not be reported as the family member should not have been on site, so it was their own fault. Nevertheless, the worker contacted the enforcement authority and explained the circumstances. The worker subsequently resigned as they did not want to work for an organisation whose MD had such a bad attitude.

In the past, the enforcement authority has tried to work with the management at the haulage company’s site and had, on several occasions, provided advice on how safety could be improved. Following the report about the broken foot, an inspector visited the site again. The MD was not available to speak to the inspector at this visit so the inspector spoke to the site manager. The inspector found evidence of at least six different health and safety breaches across the site. They also noticed a child disappearing through a hole that was in the perimeter fence; on closer inspection they also noticed that there was no signage on the perimeter fence to communicate the dangers of

entering the site. The inspector advised that this was a significant risk of serious injury or death to unauthorised visitors. The inspector issued enforcement notices for the health and safety breaches that were found across the site.

The inspector visited the site again 21 days after the notice date and then again, a further three weeks later. During this visit the MD told the inspector that the notices would not be actioned as it was the MD, not the inspector, who was in charge. The inspector reiterated the risk of serious injury or death to unauthorised visitors and said that they had no alternative but to issue another enforcement notice that would shut down the site until the hole was repaired. The MD tore up the notice in front of the inspector, saying that it would cost too much to put things right and that bonuses would be at risk if the improvements were made. The HSE subsequently prosecuted both the haulage company and the MD, and both received fines. So far the MD has not paid their fine and is refusing to speak to the court’s officials about the issue.

Since then, there has recently been a fatality at the site. A 10-year-old child had entered the site with some friends through the hole in the perimeter fencing. The child was knocked over and killed by one of the lorries reversing into a parking bay.

There have been a lot of reports in the press and on social media about the child’s death, which have included information on the haulage company’s poor health and safety performance record. The car manufacturer’s procurement director has seen these reports and visits the site to discuss the ongoing relationship between the two organisations. The procurement director tells the MD that they are very concerned about the relationship and that the car manufacturer is now a supply chain focal company. The procurement director explains that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is also a top priority and that they have signed up to one of the codes on CSR which has health and safety requirements within it. The car manufacturer takes both their focal company and CSR responsibilities very seriously.

Following the fatality, the haulage company’s insurers visited the premises to carry out an investigation as the MD had submitted a claim relating to the case. The insurance company sent a follow up report to the MD and board with several recommendations; one of these recommendations was to appoint at least one competent health and safety adviser.

After reading the report, the board of directors voted to recruit a health and safety manager as they agreed with the report’s findings and recognised that something had to change. The MD did not agree with this decision, but was outvoted by the rest of the board. You were successful in obtaining the role. You have been doing similar roles for the last 10 years after passing the NEBOSH International Diploma and becoming a professional member of the country’s premier health and safety professional body.

Your first job is to review the health and safety policy and any procedures currently in place. You are concerned to find out that there is no health and safety policy or written procedures. Procedures are passed by word-of-mouth from worker-to-worker. The drivers have told you that “this is just the way things are done around here”. You check to see what driver training there is, but can find no training records. You also check that you have up-to-date drivers’ paperwork and find that many of the driving licences on record have either expired or do not exist; in some cases, drivers are driving categories of vehicles for which they do not hold a licence.

You also discover that many of the drivers are not taking sufficient driving breaks during the working week. This is due to pressure from management to get the job done quickly, at all costs. You also find that the only contact between the driver and the haulage company is when the drivers are emailed their next pick up or delivery details. Drivers accept this as the ‘norm’ and have the attitude that if that is the way management want it done then that is what will be done, even if it means that they are working under excessive pressure.

You then carry out an investigation into the fatality and find out that unauthorised visitors including children, are a regular occurrence and that various workers have chased children off the site on

many occasions. You hear reports from most of the drivers that this was “an accident waiting to happen” as there have been a lot of near misses in the past involving children and site vehicles. The drivers tell you that most of the fleet go out on Monday mornings and return Friday afternoons or early evenings; at both of these busy times there are always children inside the perimeter fencing watching the lorries manoeuvring.

You also discover that the hole in the perimeter fence has been reported to the MD on several occasions by different workers and that, despite numerous requests from drivers, the lorries have no reversing cameras or audible alarms. The drivers also tell you that they have stopped reporting issues and asking for safety-related equipment/clothing/PPE as these requests are always ignored. They also say that they think, with hindsight, that this equipment/clothing/PPE is not required because they have not been involved in any incidents. You find that even if the MD authorises the purchase of these items, they will very often change their mind and tell the drivers to buy it for themselves. You ask the drivers why they stay with the haulage company, and they all reply because they can turn up, get the job done but not care if they do a good job or not. Their attitude is, that if management do not care how the job is done, neither should they. The drivers also tell you that the pay is exceptional, much higher than the industry average.

You ask the MD for the site’s risk assessments. The MD tells you that there is “no such thing as risk”! The MD goes on to say that it is up to the individual to make sure that they act responsibly so that they do not cause themselves or anyone else an injury; so there is no need for the MD to bother doing risk assessments. You raise the issue of the reversing devices for the lorries and say that the workforce must be consulted on such issues, rather than the MD making a unilateral decision. The MD’s response is to laugh at you before walking away.

The Police and the enforcement authority carried out a joint investigation into the accident where the child died. The MD initially co-operated with the enforcement authority. However, when they asked to see the site’s risk assessments, the MD’s attitude changed. After this, the MD refused to co- operate with the investigators, insisting that it was the child’s fault as they were not authorised to be on the site and that it was nothing to do with the haulage company.

You later found out that the MD had destroyed a lot of evidence directly after the fatality. The MD’s personal assistant told you this in confidence, but would not go ‘on the record’ as they were afraid of repercussions. After the investigation, you find out that another driver voluntarily told the labour inspector that near miss incidents between reversing vehicles and pedestrians were common on the site. They said they were concerned about the number of incidents that were happening even after they had reported the issue to the MD. This driver also resigned as they did not want to work for an organisation that had so little regard for safety.

Task 1: Insurance 

1              Outline how the insurance company can positively influence the haulage company’s health and safety tandards.                                                                                                        (10)

Note: You should support your answer, where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario.

Task 2: Role of the enterprise

 

2

The International Labour Organisation Recommendation R164 requires ‘action at the level of the undertaking’ and places obligations upon employers.

 

Explain how the haulage company may have contravened its obligations under recommendation 10(a) to 10(g) of R164.

 

Note: You should support your answer, where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario.

 Task 3: Organisational and individual factors

 

3

(a)    Comment on the organisational factors that could have contributed to the poor health and safety culture at the haulage company.

 
 

Note: You should support your answer, where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario.

 

(b)    Comment on the individual human factors that could have contributed to the poor health and safety culture at the haulage company.

 

Note: You should support your answer for parts (a) and (b), where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario.

 

Task 4: Supply chain and corporate social responsibility obligations

 

4

(a)    The haulage company’s main client is a car manufacturer that is a supply chain focal company.

 

(i)    Outline the role of a supply chain focal company.

 

(ii) Based on the scenario, what are the implications for the haulage company of the car manufacturer’s focal company role?

 

(b)    Comment on what the car manufacturer’s corporate social responsibilities (CSR) responsibilities are likely to be.

 

Note: You should support your answer, where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario.

  • Uploaded By : Katthy Wills
  • Posted on : February 27th, 2023
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