Sketching out safety: A campaign for accident prevention and reporting among goods transport drivers, Denmark

In document Managing risks to drivers in road transport (Page 30-36)

Security and Environmental (QHSSE) system, Denmark

2.3.5. Sketching out safety: A campaign for accident prevention and reporting among goods transport drivers, Denmark

Organisation(s): The Branch Working Council (BWC) for the transport and wholesale sector,


Key points

 Reporting system and awareness-raising and educational resources to increase attention to causal factors and accident analysis and encourage reporting.

 Industry-wide initiative, including the major stakeholders.

 Emphasises both prevention and learning.

 Seeks to encourage employers to take a more professional approach to the work environment.

 Materials produced are designed to meet the needs of drivers. The simplified materials include cartoons depicting typical scenarios to provide the message more immediately.

 Main focus is non-traffic situations.


The Branch Working Council (BWC) for the transport and wholesale industry in Denmark is supported by state funding and comprises both employer and employee representatives. Broadly speaking, its objective is to help answer questions and solve problems relating to occupational health and safety within the industry. The BWC coordinates its work and collaborates with the Department of Employment, the Working Environment Authority, the Working Environment Information Centre, the working councils of other sectors and educational institutions involved in occupational health and safety training.

This case focuses on one specific initiative, to prevent injuries to drivers working in the goods transport industry. Consultants from the BWC developed a set of tools designed to communicate risk awareness within companies and among drivers. The process involved identification of key risks and the development of a way of presenting this information to transport companies and individual drivers.Simplified materials using cartoons and depicting typical scenarios were developed and tested on employers and drivers. The focus was on non-traffic situations.


The main tasks of the BWC are to provide up-to-date guidance, instruction and training materials to the industry, hold conferences, propose campaigns and research projects and support occupational health and safety training.

The number of incidents involving goods transport drivers has consistently placed this occupation near the top of the Danish work accidents register. The BWC has made a concerted effort to identify the most significant risks facing drivers, and this has provided the basis for the development of various tools and initiatives aimed at improving awareness of safety.

The vast majority of work accidents experienced by goods transport drivers are the result of loading and unloading activities. The campaign introduced by the BWC in 2007 is, therefore, largely focused on safety in non-traffic situations.


Awareness is a key aspect of the BWC’s role, since the vast majority of the companies that fall under its remit are small or medium sized. These companies are often not able to provide

adequate instruction and training for their drivers, since they lack the resources to undertake systematic campaigns or improvements.

The objectives of the programme are:

 To raise awareness of the health and safety issues relevant to goods transport drivers.

 To provide small and medium-sized companies with advice and tools to assist in proactive safety management.

To achieve these aims, consultants from the BWC have travelled extensively throughout Denmark, visiting companies and providing an introduction to areas of concern in relation to occupational health and safety and the tools they have developed in order to address these concerns.


The BWC for the transport and wholesale industry covers a broad range of activities: goods transport; public transport and other forms of transport of people, e.g. taxis; goods and passenger rail transport; depots and warehouses (including harbours and airports); and the emergency services. These industries employ roughly 350,000 people.

The sector guidance material relevant to the goods transport industry is both detailed and extensive. This includes 30 reports of varying length, covering all forms of goods transport and various safety topics, e.g. loading and unloading (including falls from vehicles, crush injuries and manual handling), lifting techniques, repetitive monotonous work, solitary work, and workplace assessment procedures.

The material is very detailed and professional in its approach. The primary target for this material is company management and those involved in safety training. Individual drivers could use the material profitably, but there is so much information available that finding material relevant to individuals is time consuming. Much of the information may not seem directly relevant to individual drivers and the level of detail may put them off reading it.

In compiling material for the campaign addressing work injuries among goods transport drivers, the BWC sought to develop material that conveys a more immediate message about safety. The campaign identified a range of scenarios in which goods transport drivers are typically injured, and produced a series of instructive cartoons depicting these situations and the sources of risk.

The key scenarios were:

Loading/unloading conditions:

 poor access routes

 inadequate access

 poor working conditions in unloading areas.

Insufficient knowledge of risks:

 risk of falling from back lift

 ergonomic overexertion

 crushing injuries

 falling objects.

Insufficient knowledge of safe practice:

 use of appropriate equipment

 lifting techniques

Planning and completion of work:

 poor planning

 inadequate training

 time pressure.

Attitudes to safety:

 acknowledgement of unsafe practices

 failure to acknowledge known risks

 inappropriate protective equipment (especially footwear).

In terms of its ability to gather information, the BWC is in an ideal position because it has close ties with both management and employee organisations. The council thus has access to extensive information resources, which were crucial in identifying key risk scenarios. Once commissioned and delivered, the cartoons were tested in the field to gain feedback from organisations and drivers, especially regarding their relevance and use as pedagogical aids. Raising awareness of risk is particularly important when dealing with small and medium-sized companies. Greater awareness should lead to an improvement in safety practice, and the BWC also seeks to encourage more reporting of incidents, including near-miss incidents, in order to raise overall knowledge.

Numerous studies show that the level and quality of reporting in relation to work accidents in the transport sector is generally of a poor standard. The BWC addresses this by aiming to improve the attention given to causal factors and accident analysis. The material it provides is designed to encourage more active participation in the reporting process where employers, in particular, are challenged to adopt a more professional approach to reporting. Raising drivers’ awareness of common risks and safety problems should, however, also result in greater reporting of incidents from their side as well. Combining the knowledge of risk possessed by the individual driver with a more formal approach to safety at management level could then lead to an overall improvement in safety performance.

Outcomes and evaluation

There is no systematic data on the number of companies that have used the information provided by BWC, or what impact it has had. Consultants at the BWC do, however, use the information from the campaign systematically; i.e., it has become a standard part of their broader attempts to raise health and safety standards within the industry.

Feedback from the SMEs that have been exposed to the material is very positive. This is especially true of the cartoon material, which has captured the attention of drivers who are not otherwise drawn to a text-based description of safety issues and/or procedures. The appeal of the cartoons rests, in part, in their humour. Humour is an important part of the way in which drivers interact with one another, so the fact that the cartoons evoke humour means that it is more likely that the serious issues they address will be considered by drivers in their day-to- day exchanges.

Problems faced

The main problem faced is reaching out to companies. Although the visits by BWC consultants to companies is very effective for introducing the tools, a BWC consultant cannot visit all companies, so the dissemination of the available information also depends on companies actively seeking information. A further problem here is that the BWC homepage contains so much information that it can be difficult to find the specific facts that are relevant to a particular company. Some of these problems will, however, be addressed in the next version of the homepage.

Success factors

 Identification of key risks and accident scenarios.

 Identification of problems with existing materials (too detailed and complicated).

 Development of tools that address the needs of the population they are targeting.

 Use of simple materials and cartoons depicting typical scenarios familiar to the sector.

 Field testing the resources with organisations and drivers.

 Tripartite (state, industry, labour unions) model used as a basis for implementing health and safety-based solutions.


The labour market model on which this case is based is founded on strong cooperation between state, business and labour unions. In Denmark, such collaboration is largely determined and facilitated by regulation and statute. The funding for BWC is, for example, partly provided by a tax on companies that issue work insurance policies. Therefore much about this case is quite unique to a Danish context. Nonetheless, the product of the campaign – the identified areas of risk and the pedagogical approach adopted – could be well applied to other contexts.

Further information

Susanne Linhart (Chief consultant)

Branch Working Environment Council for Transport and Wholesale Arbejdsgiversekretariatet

HTS Arbejdsgiverforeningen Sundkrogskaj 20

2100 Copenhagen, Denmark


Driver’s Manual, Finland

Organisation(s): ADR-Haanpää Ltd

Key points

 Driver’s instruction manual, also used for training.

 Provides information on tasks, responsibilities and safety at work, harmful and dangerous substances, and legislation covering drivers’ work, especially rest times.

 Part of the company’s quality, environment and OSH system.

 Transport of dangerous substances.

 Folder with removable pages – electronic version for onboard computer system planned.

Aims and objectives

The aim of the Driver’s Manual project was to make the company’s quality, environmental and safety issues visible in its everyday operation and to provide a useful tool for drivers.


ADR-Haanpää is a haulier of liquid chemicals in Scandinavia and the Baltic region. Today it has 900 employees and 200 subcontractor drivers. The company has grown significantly since it was founded; it began its operations in timber transport in 1949, and became specialised in chemical transport in the late 1970s. It operated only in Finland until 1981, when a subsidiary began international transport.

According to its website, ADR-Haanpää is committed to developing its quality, safety and environmental systems. The operational model complies with international quality and safety standards, and all company activities are in compliance with the relevant laws and regulations. Through its internal disciplines, routines and safety regulations, ADR-Haanpää actively develops both personal and property safety at work. All staff at ADR-Haanpää are required to maintain their skills with regular training, and to uphold collaboration with partners. The company also aims to reduce and prevent environmental pollution.


The objective of work environment development is to prevent the risks of illnesses and accidents at work. ADR-Haanpää’s staff are obliged to follow set work routines and to report all potential risks regarding quality, safety and environmental issues.

The Driver’s Manualis part of this objective, and part of the company’s quality, environmental and safety systems. It is primarily a guidebook on these issues for drivers, providing information on tasks, responsibilities and safety matters at work, harmful and dangerous substances drivers have to transport, and legislation concerning drivers’ work, especially rest times.

The manual is also used as an educational and orientation tool for drivers. From the company’s perspective, it also serves as a marketing tool, as it shows how the company’s policies are implemented at all levels.


The idea of the Driver’s Manual arose when the company’s quality and environmental systems were developed. Management realised that these documents included information that was also useful for drivers, and decided that drivers should have a manual covering the quality, safety and environmental issues relevant to their work. This was considered especially important for drivers transporting harmful and dangerous substances.

As a model for the Driver’s Manual, ADR-Haanpää used other manuals directed at drivers, published by the Finnish Oil and Gas Federation (instructions for oil and gas transport) and the Finnish Transport and Logistics SKAL1 (various manuals for transport employers).

Since it was first produced ADR-Haanpää’s Driver’s Manual has been updated twice, in collaboration with management, traffic coordinators and the drivers themselves.The need to update the Driver’s Manual has arisen from feedback given by drivers, and also new regulations and knowledge regarding quality and safety in chemical transport.

The Driver’s Manual was first produced in the form of a book, which was awkward to update, but the current version is in the form of a folder with removable pages that is placed in all vehicles. ADR-Haanpää is planning to place an electronic version of the manual on vehicles’ onboard computers, which would make it easier to update and to use while working.

The manual is also used for driver training, which ADR-Haanpää regularly carries out. All the company’s drivers take a course in logistics, through an apprenticeship contract system. The ADR-Haanpää Driver’s Manual covers some of the content of this course. The company also

provides further training, which fulfils EU directive regulations, and presents drivers with the Certificate of Professional Competence (CAP).

Outcome and evaluation

According to ADR-Haanpää, the Driver’s Manual is extremely useful. The company believes that some form of written instructions are essential to help drivers in their everyday work, and the manual is a convenient way for drivers to access information on work issues and environmental safety at their workplace. The Driver’s Manual also serves many other purposes (marketing, orientation and educational), as mentioned above.

The manual helps drivers increase their professional knowledge regarding occupational and traffic safety, and hence to deal more effectively with problems at work. This reduces the need to consult managers during work shifts, which in turn lessens the drivers’ workload. This is especially important during the night shift, as it reduces the need to contact the traffic controller.

An evaluation of the use of the Driver’s Manual at ADR-Haanpää showed that it was not systematic and that not all drivers were using it properly. The company is trying to improve this through better orientation and education strategies and practices.

Problems faced

The biggest challenge lies in getting all the drivers to use this kind of material, and it seems that there is no single way to achieve this. It may help if drivers were to play a more active role in producing the material; this may ensure that the content is more relevant to them. In addition, providing the material in different formats would make it more widely accessible. The first version was produced by management but drivers and traffic controllers were involved in the subsequent versions.

The other challenge facing ADR-Haanpää is related to multiculturalism. The number of different nationalities among the employees and the number of languages spoken in the company is rising. At the time of writing, the company had drivers from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Estonia, Germany and Poland, but the Driver’s Manual is only provided in Finnish. Translating the Driver’s Manual only into English does not solve the problem, as not all drivers speak English. Thus the Driver’s Manual should be translated into several languages.

Success factors

 Developed in context of integrated management approach to OSH – company commitment.

 OSH, environmental issues and other quality issues in one document.

 Part of a variety of measures.

 Various uses – training, day-to-day instructions, company promotion.

 Driver involvement in developing and updating manual.

 Practical loose-leaf folder with removable sheets. Onboard electronic version planned.


The idea of the Driver’s Manual, as shown in this case, is transferable to other companies. The main content, the company’s work policies, instructions for occupational and road safety, and regulations for work and rest times, are needed in all transport companies. The idea of using the same material for multiple purposes (work instructions, orientation and as an education tool) could also prove beneficial to other companies.

The Driver’s Manual is one way of emphasising the importance of both safety behaviour and drivers’ continuous education at work.

Further information

ADR-Haanpää Oy (ADR-Haanpaa Ltd) Hannu Häyrynen

QHSE Director

Web:; see also new website


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In document Managing risks to drivers in road transport (Page 30-36)