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Case study: Bristol City Council Parking Services

When an internal investigation revealed a host of management issues and low staff morale, Bristol City Council Parking Services embarked on a long and challenging journey to turn things around. Here we describe what happened…

The challenge

With its 115 employees, including 49 civil enforcement officers, Parking Services had suffered a history of poor staff relations. Sickness and absence levels among enforcement staff were steadily increasing. The quality and quantity of fixed penalty notices was dropping and staff morale was at low ebb.

When the corporate health and safety team carried out a lone worker training session, it became clear that there was no consistency in the instructions given to staff when dealing with threatening behaviour. On deeper investigation, a number of serious health and safety deficiencies were found which led to an internal improvement notice being issued.

Eventually, HSE became aware of the situation and in February 2008 an inspector called. The inspector highlighted the need to take action to reduce the risk of verbal and physical attack on staff, improve communications, and reduce stress among the workforce. A letter was sent to the Chief Executive outlining these problems and a follow-up meeting was agreed.

What they did

Senior managers called in an industrial arbitrator. During this process the service manager and one of the trade union safety reps had an informal meeting to discuss the future of the service.

Progress

Benefits so far:

Further development

2012-12-03