The priorities of organisations vary widely, but for those that provide public transport health and safety must be high on the list. For transport company FirstGroup, its culture of safety permeates all its activities. According to First:”If you cannot do it safely, don’t do it.” Health and safety legislation has been put in place to show the duties of both employers and employees with regard to safety in the workplace. Companies like First put in place procedures to ensure that the risk to employees and customers are kept to a minimum. For example, its Injury Prevention programme provides safety training and development for workers as well as a database which is used to identify problem areas so that action can be taken.
In addition to the way that organisations work, advanced technology can also be used to increase safety. For example, Google has developed a self-driving car which it has been testing in California. The project aim is to lower congestion and reduce the number of road traffic accidents by using roof mounted video cameras, radar sensors and laser range finders which allow the vehicle to sense nearby traffic. The car has so far been driven around San Francisco’s streets, over the Golden Gate Bridge and around Lake Tahoe although so far it has remained manned by a trained driver throughout and local police have been informed beforehand. (BBC 10th October 2010)
- What is the main law that governs workplace safety in the UK?
- Explain who is responsible for health and safety matters in the workplace.
- Using the First case study, analyse the benefits of having a safe working environment.
Answers to questions
- What is the main law that governs workplace safety in the UK?The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
- Explain who is responsible for health and safety matters in the workplace.Both the employer and employees have certain responsibilities for safety at work. For example, employers should assess risks in the workplace and take measures to minimise these. Employees should ensure that the health and safety of others is not affected by their actions.
- Analyse the benefits of having a safe working environment.Benefits include: A reduction in accidents leading to fewer days lost through injury, Less chance of litigation,Better reputation,Easier to attract customers and employee.