The health and safety of everyone involved in our business is a vital consideration in everything we do.
Policies and procedures
The Board actively promotes a positive health and safety culture within the business and ensures that this is reflected in all of our policies and procedures, as well as in our approach to the training and development of the people involved in our operations. Health and safety is the first agenda item at monthly Board meetings.
Our comprehensive set of policies and procedures cover all of our operations. They are constantly updated and communicated to relevant employees and everyone else working on our sites. Our procedures identify all of the relevant risks and hazards that are likely to be encountered in the course of our work and, more importantly, set out the appropriate precautionary control measures to ensure work is undertaken safely and with due regard for people’s health.
We also require our supply chain partners to employ competent people and encourage their continuing professional development. We expect the highest health and safety standards from each supplier, and this is a key consideration when awarding contracts. We monitor our suppliers on an ongoing basis and take the necessary steps to ensure they meet our high expectations.
The Group’s Health and Safety Management System is accredited to BS OHSAS 18001:2007 and during 2019–20 we will complete a migration to ISO45001:2018.
Our Health and Safety team currently has five qualified Institution of Occupational Safety and Health practitioners who provide advice across the Group and play a vital part in reviewing and developing our health and safety procedures. This is further enhanced by our Executive Health and Safety Committee and our Operational Health and Safety Forum, whose members are senior construction managers with extensive industry experience. Collectively they are instrumental in driving best practice, sharing initiatives and ensuring that we are conversant with any changes in working practices or regulations.
John Fitzgerald remains the Board director with overall responsibility for health and safety.
Telford Homes operates in an industry where competent people with up to date qualifications, standards and knowledge are vital to the safe and successful operation of the business.
The Board views training, particularly through apprenticeships and our trainee programme, as an essential investment in the future of the Group and the construction industry more broadly. We also offer subsidised training to our contractors specifically for their employees, often at no cost to our partners.
We invest in a rigorous health and safety training programme to ensure that all employees have the appropriate skills and knowledge and that these are evaluated in the context of their role and prospective changes to the external environment. The needs of new employees are carefully assessed to identify and address their specific requirements and ensure their training is compatible to the role they undertake.
The year to 31 March 2019 has been our busiest on record, with over 3.8 million person hours worked (2018: 3.5 million). There were six reportable injuries (RIDDOR)¹ during the period, resulting in an Accident Frequency Rate (AFR)² of 0.16 (2017: 0.11). The construction industry average AFR for the year to 31 March 2018 was 0.28.
We carefully monitor the nature of all accidents and incidents to ensure we learn from them, and adjust our training requirements and procedures accordingly. Once again the majority of our accidents this year arose from simple behavioural failings of the people involved and we are continuing with our focused training programmes to make people aware of these basic mistakes and the impacts they can have.
This year, our occupational health and safety performance was once again recognised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) when we received our tenth consecutive gold medal award and our first President’s Award. These awards and the BSI certification are recognition of the very high standard of the Group’s overall approach to health and safety.
Although our health and safety performance in the year has been excellent, we continue to strive for improvement by being proactive. We will ensure that, as the business continues to grow, we have the systems in place to train new employees and suppliers in our health and safety culture, policies and procedures.
We remain confident that our comprehensive procedures and investment in training mean that the Group is doing everything possible to minimise health and safety risks as a result of its activities, now and in the foreseeable future.
1. Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations
2. AFR = injuries (RIDDOR) per year / hours worked per year x 100,000