Week Commencing 06/11/2023 – In The News

RED backs calls for increased van driver training

Red Corporate Driver Training has backed calls from an influential road safety lobby for increased training requirements for van drivers.

The European Transport Safety Council has written to MEPs asking for an extension to the use of Certificates of Professional Competence (CPCs) to van drivers, creating a potential B+ category covering commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes.

RED Corporate Driver Training CEO, Seb Goldin said, “At a time when the UK Government is de-regulating several aspects of the commercial driver licensing system, it is vital that road safety is not simply ignored.

“While the ETSC’s proposals will not impact UK regulations directly, they are a positive step forward and recognition of the need to deal with the growing number of van drivers on the roads (up by 37% in the last decade to nearly 4.5 million vans).

“Also, the average age of a van on our roads is 8.9 years old, meaning it will lack many of the more modern safety features we now take for granted.”

Read more on the HSM website.

Beyond the norm – Have you risk assessed your safety culture?

A good safety culture is made up of several norms, but when was the last time you checked up on them? Dom Cooper says the time is now.

Research and experience show how an organisation’s culture of safety (safety culture being the short-hand term) can impact safety outcomes. Those possessing a strong and effective culture of safety, tend to have less frequent, and less severe, adverse incidents. Many entities have well-established and proven safety management systems, documented procedures, and qualified safety resources in place, but still experience devastating incidents. Numerous public enquiries into major safety catastrophes have identified a positive ‘culture of safety’ as the missing link.

When pondering what a culture of safety might look like, research has identified that it is comprised of three major interactive components that coincide with those found in accident causation models. These are: psychological, behavioural, and situational. Studies show the reciprocal behavioural-situational link is the most influential in affecting actual safety performance. The psychological component serves to create the commitment necessary for a group of people to overcome safety problems by creating appropriate behavioural norms, safety processes and systems.

Learn more about the role of safety culture on the SHP website.

New online learning tool helps businesses address work-related stress

A “much needed” new online learning tool designed to prevent work-related stress has been launched.

Businesses are encouraged to sign-up to the free-to-use interactive tool, designed by the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Working Minds campaign, to understand what they need to do to comply with the law.

The tool provides the simple and effective guidance employers need to take action to  meet their legal duties and begin to understand how to include stress in their workplace risk assessments.

Created as part of HSE’s Working Minds campaign, which promotes good mental health in the workplace, the new tool is made up of six short modules. These take employers through relatable, everyday scenarios, such as how to recognise the signs of stress in individuals and teams like regular lateness to work, being withdrawn and higher staff turnover.

Visit the HSE website to learn more.

World War Two artillery shell found in Leamington Spa river

Army bomb disposal experts have carried out a controlled explosion after World War Two ordnance was found in the River Leam in Leamington Spa.

Warwickshire Police closed part of Willes Road around the Mill Gardens park during Sunday’s operation.

A group called the Peaky Dippers, that trawls the river with magnets to hunt for metal, said on social media that it made the find.

The roads and the park reopened by 19:00 GMT.

A member of the Peaky Dippers group claimed on Facebook: “There wasn’t just one bomb found, there [were] numerous WW1 and WW2 guns, grenades and artillery tips…”

Warwickshire Police confirmed magnet fishers made the find and said the 18-pound British shell was taken back to its Leek Wootton headquarters for safe disposal.

It said the 80-year-old shell “was clearly very well made” and still had the power to “produce one almighty boom and shake the ground after decades under water”.

Read more about the discovery on the BBC website.

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