Exception Report Prepared for Highways Authority Director Approval

For those cases where the Designer and the Audit Team cannot agree on appropriate means of addressing a safety problem identified by the audit, a report that details any reasons for not accepting audit recommendations must be prepared on each disputed item in the audit report.

These reports should be submitted by the Scheme Manager to the Director of the highway authority for a decision. The final decision to accept or reject the disputed recommendations rests with the Highway Authority. It must address only those items in the Audit Report for which agreement cannot be reached.

This report lists the problem/recommendation that is not accepted, assesses the likely risk of injury from it if road users fail to cope because of the problem, and formally accepts this risk by getting the Director of the local highway authority or delegated person as identified in local policies to sign a statement within the Exception Report formally accepting the risk. The reason for this is that the highway authority is likely to have to pay compensation to a claimant following an injury collision resulting from the problem, the subject of the Exception Report. The Scheme Manager, therefore, needs to be reasonably assured that the risks associated with the problem are relatively small or not justifiable in relation to the size of the scheme and the budget allocation.


Decision Documented and Copied to Relevent Parties

Should the safety audit report be accepted in its entirety by the Scheme Manager, the design team should be instructed to incorporate the recommendations within the design, or the contractor instructed to make the recommended alterations to the newly constructed scheme. This decision should be copied to the design team (for a post-construction audit), the client (if a Developer scheme) and the audit team for future reference.

DMRB does not give any specific advice on the length of time that the Road Safety Audit report should be retained. It only makes reference to the ‘shelf life’ of an audit. Various organisations have their own policies on the retention period of design critical reference documents. An audit report is such a document and is a matter of public record and may be used as evidence in future injury claims. It should be retained by the design/contracting organisation as part of the project Health and Safety File be reviewed at the various stages of the construction process, and on completion of the contract passed to the highway authority for long term storage..

It is recommended that accessible copies of audit reports should be available for 25 years after the scheme opening. This covers the possibility of a foetus in the womb suffering an injury in a road traffic collision for a newly opened scheme. UK Law allows for an injured party to come of age when they can make a claim e.g. 18. Then they have a number of years to lodge a claim and time for it to get to court. Which make a total of 25 years from opening.