NEBOSH Diploma Syllabus Revision News #29

We now come to the final element in Unit C.  This element (national or international) was previously on the same topic – workplace transport and driving as part of work.  But we get a subtle change in that we are now calling the latter partmanaging work-related road risk.  Both parts the C10 are greatly re-organised (even if they basically cover the same stuff).

Workplace transport risk assessment is now based explicitly around the UK HSG136 guidance.  It was in the list of references in the previous syllabus, but now the HSG136 structure has been brought into the syllabus organisation itself.  This turns what used to be a seemingly random set of issues into a neat collection of issues framed around the site (the workplace design and activities), the vehicle and the driver.  Of course there is always overlap between some of these issues because all three interact.  For example, speed limits and site rules require the driver to know what they mean and obey them.  The UK syllabus also brings in the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations as these have quite a bit to say about the design of traffic routes (especially vehicle/pedestrian separation).  This also links back to some related issues in element C1.

The section on managing work-related road risk now takes account of ISO 39001, which was published in 2012.  The last syllabus revision predates this and so doesn’t take account of its many words of wisdom.   This is effectively off-site driving – driving for work, which could be travelling to see a client (if you’re a sales representative) or delivering product in a delivery van.

So, in this section, we now have an outline of the requirements of a Road Traffic Safety Management System (RTSMS) aligned with ISO 39001.  The world is full of focused safety management system – so this one is focused on Road Traffic.  For any of you that have looked at other safety management systems, some elements of the structure will not be a surprise.  We have planning (which is contextual, but the bit you do before doing ….but obviously that’s all planners ever do, so they are also doing…it’s easy to get confused, so stay with me..).  Planning here has to do with looking at risk factors – these are not really much different from many of the considerations we would already have covered for on-site traffic.  However, you have much less control over public roads and, obviously the volumes of traffic and speed are much greater.  The standard then covers “support” by which it means resources allocated to managing the risk and competence  management.  It’s no surprise too that there’s a requirement to document the system (where would we be without paperwork?).  Operational considerations are orientated around doing it – including emergency preparedness (though for anything major you’re going to be linking into the regional emergency services who are best placed to mobilise in cases of serious accidents on the road network).   Performance evaluation is the standard monitoring of the system (reactive, like accident/incident data as well as active like audits and management reviews).  Finally the system learns from these issues and continuously improves.  What could possibly go wrong?

As with all these systems, if you’re not used to the management system language, it all sounds terribly woolly.  That’s because it’s trying to apply to any organisation.  But I find that systems like this are not very useful unless accompanied by some practical guidance that give you examples of what it means.  Otherwise you read one clause and instantly forget what on earth it just said – you start to fear early on-set dementia.  But no, that’s quite normal in cases like this. No need to worry…