Stagecoach Bus recently joined CIRAS as a new member. Here’s an article by Jo Lewis about their motivation for joining, the perceived benefits, and how it fits in with their wider health and safety strategy.
I’ve been familiar with CIRAS since it’s early days when it was introduced to the rail industry following the accident at Ladbroke Grove in 1999, and the subsequent recommendation made by Cullen to make available a means for rail staff to report safety concerns in confidence. Over the years, I’ve seen how CIRAS has developed and how it has recognised the real benefits of being made available to smaller contracting organisations as well as moving into different transport sectors.
Stagecoach Bus is a large, geographically diverse organisation, with over 24,000 employees, based in 18 Operating Companies across the UK, making over 920 million journeys a year. As with all transport organisations, it is a fast paced operation, with the pressure of quality and consistent delivery of service. We have launched a 3 year strategy, designed to make sure our business is, and remains fit for the future and part of this is our Safety Always strategy. We want to encourage everyone in our business to be leaders in safety and to have the confidence and means to speak up if they have safety concerns. Introduction of CIRAS is part of a range of activities that have been undertaken or planned to give our colleagues the confidence and means in which to speak up about safety.
We launched CIRAS to all 18 Operating Companies in June, with each Company having a nominated CIRAS Champion (in most cases this is the MD or one of the Directors) who promote CIRAS within their organisation. Our Health & Safety Representatives have embraced the scheme, with some holding their own roadshows. I’m really pleased that we have had colleagues already using CIRAS, and so our role now is to make sure these concerns are properly investigated and responded to.