Life became easier the day I had the idea of introducing a safety concession arrangement. It was a real Doh! moment – why hadn’t I thought of it before?
We were reviewing the management of non-routine activities with a client in the North West, agonising over why it was we couldn’t make the permit to work arrangements clear and uncomplicated. We just wanted to have a simple rule like working from a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) is banned, except with a permit to work but we knew that the Site Services Manager would complain that for him, this was routine; he used several MEWPs on a daily basis for high-level cleaning and having to obtain a permit every time would be impracticable. He was right, it wouldn’t be long before short-cuts were taken and then the whole permit to work arrangement would be undermined.
And then PING!! I had the idea. Why didn’t I issue him with a health and safety concession? If he could demonstrate to me that he operated a safe system of work every time: point of use risk assessment; MEWP inspected before use; IPAF-training for all operators; 2-man working; MEWP cordoned off; harnesses and helmets; etc. we could confirm it all in a concession for say 6-months, and then review. Everything fell into place and the concession arrangement soon became the routine way of managing those few, thorny exceptions that prevented everything else being simple and straight forward.