Evaluation of HSE’s Moving Goods Safely Intervention
1 Sep 2010
Sally Wilson, Research Fellow
HSE’s Moving Goods Safely 3 (MGS3) intervention targeted risks associated with the movement of goods in the logistics, warehousing, road haulage and goods delivery sectors. MGS3 was aimed at reducing injury and ill-health through a number of different work streams that focused on risk areas such as loading and unloading vehicles, vehicle movement and parking and appropriate use of equipment.
The intervention was designed to be a supply chain initiative with the aim of encouraging employers to spread good practise among their suppliers and contractors, giving rise to a ‘multiplier effect’. Selected employers received an inspection from HSE and/or local authority (LA) inspectors or both. Some employers received an audit lasting several days, involving visits to various sites up and down their supply chain.
Moving Goods Safely 3 was aimed at reducing injury and ill-health through a number of work streams that focused on risk areas such as loading and unloading vehicles, vehicle movement and parking and appropriate use of equipment.
IES carried out an evaluation to assess the extent to which the MGS3 intervention had made an impact on targeted firms. The evaluation consisted of a number of elements, involving inspectors, dutyholders and their workforce, and suppliers/contractors linked to these employers. The evaluation involved a mix of methodologies, including in-depth interviews, site visits and a large-scale telephone survey. The survey enabled comparisons to be drawn with employers in similar businesses who had not received the intervention.
MGS3 was generally well received by employers who found the recommendations, in the main, practical and beneficial. Some examples of reported changes were:
- the introduction of demarcation lines for segregating vehicle and pedestrian movement or better use of signage
- changes to site layout
- better management of visiting drivers
- improved communication with workers.
However, without baseline information, and given differences in the characteristics of inspected and not-inspected premises, it is difficult to state with confidence the extent that MGS3 was responsible for these changes.
The evaluation found no links between receiving an MGS3 visit and reduced absence or accident rates. There was also little evidence of a ‘multiplier effect’ up and down supply chains following inspections. There were a number of aspects of MGS3 that had a bearing on its potential to make an impact on the employers involved. Within the sectors targeted by the intervention there was already a high level of co-operation within some supply chains, often driven by larger organisations and commercial concerns. The evaluation report identifies several barriers to the effectiveness of the initiative and presents a number of learning points for consideration when designing future interventions of this type.
For more information on this work, please contact Sally Wilson at IES.