Saturday, July 17, 2010

Losing the logo.

Oh! the fun we have had at work this week. The nationwide company has decided that hi-visibility waistcoats must be worn at all coach stations. That is not much of a problem as we already have employer issued hi-visibility waistcoats. But no!, the nationwide company does not like our hi-visibility waistcoats, because on the rear there is stencilled our employer's logo and trading name. The nationwide company has now declared that all drivers must wear a hi-visibility waistcoat in all coach stations and that waistcoat must be plain or feature the nationwide company. If the driver does not wear an approved hi-visibility waistcoat then that operator will be fined by the nationwide company.

So we have now been issued with a plain hi-visibility waistcoat made by Davern Workwear of March, Cambridgeshire. These hi-visibility waistcoats are from their Harbour Lights range and my employer has chosen the OC166 a 2 Band & Brace Waistcoat that conforms to EN471 Class 2.

Okay, I am all for health and safety in the workplace but I still find this rather sad. The nationwide company going against the operator for providing hi-visibility waistcoats with their logo and name on the rear is petty. All passengers can read the true identity of the coach operator from both the legal lettering along the side and the operator's licence displayed in the windscreen.

The nationwide company claims that their uniform provides a security safeguard against unauthorised access by criminals. Wearing a simple plain hi-visibility waistcoat available from all workwear suppliers and markets, means that anyone can pass for an employee. At a glance, do I look like Stephen the Driver or Bob the Builder?

Why do the nationwide company want drivers to wear hi-visibility waistcoats whilst loading and unloading coaches? I appreciate the point of wearing hi-visibility waistcoats when walking across roads, depot yards and at other vulnerable places. But where is the danger working on the platform, reading tickets and loading or unloading luggage? The driver has as much a risk of danger as any passenger on the platform, yet passengers are not required to wear hi-vis whilst boarding or alighting. Are the coach stations such dangerous places to stand in?

There is one good thing about wearing the hi-visibility waistcoat though. The waistcoat hides the driver's name badge that is reluctantly fixed to his shirt! Now all companies want their drivers to look professional but this is getting silly. Driving along wearing a hi-visibility waistcoats makes the public think of refuse collectors. Loading a coach wearing a hi-visibility waistcoats implies that the passengers are standing in a vulnerable and dangerous area. Wearing a hi-visibility waistcoat and a tie just looks plain stupid!
this reminds me of the time when the said company decreed that you must not wear a hi vis while talking to customers but at he same time handing out fines for not wearing a hi vis!!!!
This is all leading to a decline in the said Nationwide company's operating standards and will eventually lead to loss of customers to other companies who are already operating against them and ''others'' which are in the pipeline!!!! Watch this space....
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