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Oil Distribution industry, foundations now laid for a petroleum tanker driver safety passport

Skills for Logistics, Milton Keynes, January 2013. The UK Downstream Oil Distribution Forum (DODF) was re-established in July 2012 to provide an on-going forum for the discussion and resolution of issues relating to health and safety in the downstream oil industry. Its first priority has been to establish a common training standard against which all drivers of petroleum fuel products in the UK will be trained and assessed.

Since July much progress has been made and the foundations laid for a petroleum product tanker driver safety passport. The newly constituted group (representing trade bodies, energy and retail companies, haulage companies, Unite and URTU as well as the HSE and government departments) has now agreed the core of a training standard for all petroleum fuel drivers to operate to. This training standard will be additional to ADR and specific to the industry sector and to five industry sub sectors; Home Heat, Commercial, Aviation, Retail and Marine.

This content will be delivered through a combination of accredited in house or third party training providers and will result in the issue of a safety passport for the driver. The passport will be valid for a five year period, as with the ADR licence, but will be subject to an annual refresher day and importantly includes a written and practical assessment before the passport is issued.

The DODF is now looking to appoint a scheme manager and working with terminal operators and owners of petroleum products to ensure that this scheme has maximum take up across the industry.

Brian Worrall, DODF Independent Chair commented: "We have had great support from all interested parties which has enabled us to make good progress since the DODF was re-convened in July. The first quarter of 2013 will see us put in place the foundations which will enable a successful launch later in the year, and we plan to communicate widely across all parts of the industry as we get near that point."

Commenting from the haulage companies, Colin Rutherford, General Manager, Turners commented: "The DODF training standard will build on the good practice that already exists in many parts of the industry. The combination of an industry wide training standard with written and practical assessment will guarantee that all drivers in the industry have been trained to a consistently high standard. We envisage the proposed annual refresher day will also count as driver CPC training and are working to ensure that is the case"

Commenting from the trade union sector, Diana Holland, Assistant general secretary, Unite said: "Unite has been deeply concerned about the volatility in the oil distribution sector and its impact on health and safety standards. The reconstitution of the forum, which has brought all the players together, has been an important step in developing a safety passport for drivers and the industry. We look forward to building on the progress made to bring stability and security to such a vital sector."

The DODF will provide updates on progress in 2013, but in the meanwhile further information can be obtained from your relevant sector skills council or trade association.

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