Most organisations run fire drills to gauge the robustness of their emergency policies and to test out their employees’ understanding of emergency procedures, so why not a Chain of Responsibility (CoR) drill to test out your company’s CoR compliance policies and procedures, asks CoR Adviser Editor-in-Chief Geoff Farnsworth.
Geoff says many companies currently have detailed CoR compliance policies in place that have been circulated to staff and some have even had their CoR systems audited independently – but how do you ‘know’ for certain that everyone ‘gets it’?
Why not run a CoR drill?
“After creating and implementing a CoR compliance policy, some larger-scale retailers and wholesalers that operate distribution centres have next begun conducting ‘drills’ – random compliance audits,” Geoff says.
Usually, these are outsourced to third-party advisers to undertake. They choose a time (e.g. 3am), and pick drivers at random to be audited. This process takes around 15 minutes for each driver.”
Geoff believes that when these types of audits are conducted on a wide scale, the results can provide valuable information about levels of compliance and any issues that arise. It’s also easy to compare sites against each other.
But, he adds, high-level drills can be expensive and time-consuming.
“Unless your business is substantial, the benefits may not outweigh the costs,” Geoff says. “And although audits [of drivers] only take 15 minutes, they are somewhat disruptive to your business and the drivers involved.”
He suggests sweetening the deal by offering coffee and muffins during audits. “This would also help staff and drivers feel that they are participating in a positive exercise and not a ‘blitz’,” he adds.
The right vibe
On the upside, CoR drills send all the right messages to your staff, management, transport providers and the regulator.
“There may be no better way to demonstrate that you take your CoR responsibilities seriously. Also, if you share the results (good and bad) with your transport providers, it is an inclusive practice. This is what CoR is all about, particularly with the new emphasis on shared responsibility,” Geoff says.
But he warns businesses not to sit on the data they obtain because to get the full benefit of an audit they need to act on the results.
“If your drills reveal problems or issues, you must act on these. Failure to do so will be a red flag if the regulator comes knocking,” he says.
If you’re still formulating your CoR policies, or reviewing them in light of the proposed changes coming in 2018, the best place to find all the information you need is in CoR Adviser. Written in plain English by the transport experts at Holding Redlich, including Geoff Farnsworth, CoR Adviser has in-depth information, tips, downloadable templates and current news about CoR laws.
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