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Anybody else experience this ?

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Anybody else experience this ?

Post by CSHS » Thu May 04, 2017 9:16 am

Dear Fellow Health and safety Professionals
I am wondering if anyone has to suffer the same accusations as me when carrying out their normal daily work.
My company has a problem with chastising people for breaching H&S basically they do not I audit they ignore if the staff don't agree and just carry on regardless, and to get around this it was suggested that the staff get a promise of a bonus at the beginning of the year.
Every time they do something wrong as in not wear PPE etc. then they get some of the bonus taken away as a deterrent.
When I said that this was not the way to promote a positive Health and safety culture and explained why we would be in my opinion giving people a number of goes at getting in wrong.
I commented that this basically gives them a license to deliberately get it wrong and should they be on their get it wrong day and we get a visit or have an accident etc. we would be having a conversation with the HSE/lawyers that we needn't be having if we enforce the rules, even if this means letting the repeat/worst offenders go. To this comment I was accused of being negative and that we cannot afford to lose staff. This is not a one off problem it has happened over a year now and has at least four offenders every day.
I now feel that the guys on site have all the power and will abuse this to its fullest, So I am considering my lack of support from the directors and considering my next position but I would love to know if its just my problem or do we all in our position of guardians of the H&S suffer at the hands of Directors naivety.
Why when I am trying to save the company money/prestige/image etc. and a real chance of a prosecution happening would a Director say this is a negative approach ?
Some are beyond help
Thanks Guys /Gals

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Re: Anybody else experience this ?

Post by Alexis » Fri May 05, 2017 10:05 am

Bringing this one back again for you CS.

I do know we have had similar situations from our members and I am sure they will come in with what they did to help resolve their situation.
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Re: Anybody else experience this ?

Post by ddlh » Fri May 05, 2017 12:27 pm

Hi CS

I would be looking at the reasons for people not complying with the requirements. Is it justified and does the PPE fit? Has correct training been given and do you have a chat as to why they are not complying? Chastising is not always the best way.

As for the bonus system, I have seen this used successfully before but it is not a "stand alone" method. Coaching, talking and understanding is the key points.

However,IMO - if you have done all that and you have an individual that is continually breaching rules and setting low standards then that person should be removed.

Dave
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Re: Anybody else experience this ?

Post by bernicarey » Fri May 05, 2017 12:46 pm

Some are beyond help
I totally agree.
As an independent consultant, I usually only get to work with people that need and want my services, but a year or so ago I found myself working for a company owner who saw no need for any H&S and saw it as a distraction.
The business had been a client for a few years, but had changed hands, the new Owner had moved it to a new larger premises, and he saw my efforts as interference in his business development.
Things like not understanding why he couldn't just reuse the FRA of the previous occupiers, who were a totally different business type and in addition he had altered the layout!!
The crunch came when a few weeks before the contract was due renewal, he had a rant about me being a 'Policeman' and 'Not helping', all because I asked why, yet again, his Fire Exits were secured at Midday (I'd dropped in unannounced).
He claimed he didn't need them usable because the roller door was open on the warehouse.
Of course, the Roller Door wouldn't have been open since start time and anyway it was in one corner of the warehouse, with the Fire Exits at other aspects of the premises.
He got in first with an email saying he wasn't renewing their contract, before I gave him a new quote that he wasn't going to accept anyway.

I dread to think what state the premises is in now. :shock:
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Re: Anybody else experience this ?

Post by Steve M » Fri May 05, 2017 1:24 pm

I agree with Dave.

If having a chat doesnt work take it to an informal, formal level.

Have a fact find, go into an office with the offender, take a note taker.

Start of saying it is not a formal disciplinary but a way to obtaining the facts behind the situation, make them aware that it may be used as evidence in a disciplinary hearing should the offence not be rectified.

Using PPE as an example.

Start asking them the usual lenght of service bits and pieces, name, job role etc.

ASk them if they understand why they are there today
Ask them if they understand it is company policy
Ask if they undesrtand the reason the PPE is required
ask if they understand the consequences of not wearing the PPE
Make them aware of the possible consequences to the company for not wearing PPE
make them aware of the possible consequences to them and their family for not wearing PPE

Make them aware that you value them as an employee and wish to support them if there is any reason they are non compliant, advise them that you cannot allow them to put themselves, their family or the company at risk , and discus ways to improve their behaviour.

Make them aware the fact find will remain on their record for 3,6,12 months depending on severity or company policy.

If they continue to misbehave then you have all the evidence you need to start disciplinary proceedings.
All you need to do is start disciplinary proceeding with 1 employee and the rest should start complying.


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Re: Anybody else experience this ?

Post by nige b » Fri May 05, 2017 1:44 pm

when working for myself i had a new client who asked me in made all the right moves until my initial audit highlighted about 10 major issues including blocked fire escaped storage of flammables asbestos in the roof space .
The next communication basically said i was trying to rip them off by finding things so I could charge to sort out !!! and they no longer needed "Needed" mind you my services. 6 months later i get a call from the HSE inspector who had dropped in unannounced informing me as I was their appointed person i would be advised to get to the factory NOW I informed him what had occurred he was very pleased.
i had a very rude telephone call from the director accusing me of grassing him up !!! as if i would do such a thing


something to think about is suggesting the director attends the iosh safety for directors course orr look through the HSE prosecutions page and select a couple of juicy ones to drop on their desk
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Re: Anybody else experience this ?

Post by CSHS » Fri May 05, 2017 2:31 pm

A massive thank you for all your replies, unfortunately it appears that I have tried many of your suggestions. I am not a spring chicken to H&S and have left positions when not supported by previous Directors, I was hoping that this time it would all be different. I have put up posters saying about the correct PPE and process's etc. I have sent health and safety alerts, I have spoken to many on a one to one basis and explained why we need compliance etc. and the reasons it is better for them, I have raised in numerous meetings for Management assistance and have suggested we bring the guys in to go over the requirements, this last one was not allowed as we had so many on the list we couldn't afford for them to have the time off ,another reason stated was we cant bring them in as they cannot afford for any to leave and 'cant afford to sack them just for that !,
currently I feel extremely toothless and lost the work force is working within a very legislative area of construction and are predominantly working on several jobs a day, knowing that the staff really do not care about the company and now know they can get away with anything really is very alarming. It is also very demoralising but I do not give in easy so will prevail, but I am so conscious of us getting a visit from the HSE and not having a valid argument other than I did tell them ?
Thanks again everybody its strangely soothing knowing that It is not just me that has had this type of problem.

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Re: Anybody else experience this ?

Post by nige b » Fri May 05, 2017 2:43 pm

CSHS it looks like you might be perusing the recruitment agencies my advice get your CV on CV Library I put mine on 10 days later I had a new role and even since then i get 2 or 3 calls a week from people asking if I am still looking for work.
There are companies out there who take it seriously

Good Luck Nige
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Re: Anybody else experience this ?

Post by dave247 » Sat May 20, 2017 10:05 am

We have a couple of critical safety procedures that we have a one strike and you are out. In fact the reversing of a refuse truck without an assistant is so strict that if caught all the crew get sacked. We lost a lot of people and some got panicky due to losing drivers when they are like gold dust.

There was suggestion of some kind of yellow card system but we fought like hell to not do this for the same reason as above because some will see it as "I'll do it till I get caught and then just be careful". Our problem was that we Times the process of getting out of the cab and getting into position and it took 7 seconds so in our opinion no excuse.

We compromised that each case will be judged individually but now a great deal of our trucks have Live 360 camera systems it's not so bad.

Chastising has its place for serious offences but found that there are behavioural methods that actually work better for lesser offences.

All our crews are out on the road and to supervise is difficult so they do random crew checks, I watched supervisors chastise the guys "getbyour gloves on!

I explained to them that not all breaches were deliberate and that reaction makes them puff their chest out Alpha male style, 98% of what they do is right so acknowledge that so now at the beginning of a crew check they have to point out all the good stuff that they were doing first and then throw in the "but you wasn't wearing gloves" very rare do we get the puffing chest out and watch an increase in compliance. I go out and do the job with the crews from time to time and is so busy that I noticed I started to slip and if it can happen to me it will happen to them so sometimes a nudge is better.

As I say it all depends on the breach.
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Re: Anybody else experience this ?

Post by Messy » Sat May 20, 2017 1:49 pm

I work in the public sector where cuts have been catastrophic and budgets are tight. So when I submit a fire risk assessment with some expensive findings to be addressed, you can imagine how popular I am.

Plus my boss also has responsibilities as Head of Estates, so is not happy with me when I drop a surprise financial bombshell (as if it's my fault!!!). So I don't get a lot of support from my managers - quite the opposite in fact. I have had some issues with my boss who sees me as 'disruptive'. This has effected bonuses and promotion which is annoying.

Frankly, having managers, businesses and individuals pushing back on my advice is part of the job, like being spat at if you are a traffic warden (not as if I condone either). You accept it or perhaps find another career path. I take the position that I have given the advice to the best of my ability. Its fair, relevant, proportionate and has been made with an eye on value for money.

The bottom line is I have carried out my legal and moral duties. If those with ultimate responsibility fail to act, at least I can sleep at night with any consequences

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