All the staff at Qdos Consulting want to send their thoughts to the friends, family and members of the school of the poor young girl who lost her life at Drayton Manor on Tuesday.
Many thoughts of ‘…how could this happen…?’ I’m sure be resonating for many people, but we know that things can happen that are out of our control, which unfortunately lead to events of this week.
It is possible that accidents happen but businesses can take big steps to prevent or reduce the consequence and risk of injury. However, with the reported good safety record that Drayton Manor has had since it opened in the 1950’s, it was assumed that they may have foreseen all potential hazards and implemented controls that in their mind would alleviate major incidents, until this week.
As a business owner, it is imperative that your work activities, machinery operations, transport and generally how employees go about their daily business should all come under scrutiny regularly. The need to review your systems of work, procedures, risk assessments and daily routine needs to be discussed by various people within the workforce that will highlight unsafe practices, even if no incident has occurred for some time. Consulting your employees is paramount to ensure that your work activities are as safe as possible. After all, they are ‘at the coalface.’
The culture you create as a leader will filter throughout your workplace, by being involved and getting others involved will give incentives that will help employees support each other daily and be more willing to discuss issues with the management team, but this type of culture cannot change overnight. A senior manager needs to be appointed to show leadership on health and safety, they need to commit time to manage the cause and develop a plan that will meet the needs of the business and at the same time balancing the priority of a safe workplace.
The Alton Towers Smiler ride incident in 2015 has highlighted the need to inspect work equipment and improve safe systems of work for normal and non-routine work activities, however, the issue this week seems unprecedented and a detailed investigation by the parks management and staff will hopefully allow them to arrive at a suitable measure to prevent such tragedy again for this particular ride. This appears not a case of poor maintenance, broken machinery or lack of inspection, but a tragedy that will call for a review of policy and procedure.