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Balfour Beatty sets the standard on health & safety

Employees at Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering’s (BBGE) Plant Department have achieved the record of zero Health and Safety Executive reportable accidents for 1M man hours worked.

The last reported incident was recorded back in 1998.

Chris Whalley, director of Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering’s Plant Department, explains:

"The company has achieved this through a two-way communication system between management and workforce, which includes the following:

Toolbox talks – discussion forums about health and safety that all Plant employees must attend once a fortnight.

"Safety meetings – held once every six weeks with foremen and line managers to highlight health and safety statistics as well as a channel to feedback concerns and issues to management.

"Annual health and safety update – is attended by all Plant employees which provides an overview of the previous year’s health and safety record.

"Safety representative scheme – each area has a representative who reports to management and the health and safety team once a fortnight or as and when an issue or concern arises.

"Last year over £1M was spent at one location alone to improve different areas at the plant site through concrete roads, improved drainage and increased storage areas.The workforce also benefited from improvements to work assessments and job task analysis, making it more flexible and pertinent to the required work.

"More recently a Traveller Risk Assessment Pack was created to ensure further safety measures are in place for the mobile workforce.

"In addition, the company embarked on a programme to drive health and safety awareness. The entire workforce used a safety cultural maturity model in 2004 and again in 2007 created by industrial psychologists to ensure each employee understood the importance of health and safety. Finally, a training and competency framework was developed for health and safety directly linked to individual appraisals and assessments.

"BBGE recognises it is not just about changing a procedure – it is about employees who care for themselves and their colleagues."

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