When deputy prime minister John Prescott challenged the building industry to improve its health and safety record at last year's Construction Safety Summit, Countryside Properties took the message to heart. It has adopted Prescott's target of an annual 10% reduction in reportable accidents, achieving it last year and being on target to meet it again this year. Various measures are helping it achieve these targets, including a "two strikes and you're out" policy for contractors found guilty of unsafe working practices. The group has a health and safety training coordinator, and staff have access to a programme of 46 internal and external courses. Contractors are entitled to free places on all training courses, as part of the HSE-backed "working well together" campaign. Our judges are not alone in being impressed by Countryside's strategy – the group has also excelled in external audits by bodies such as the British Safety Council, which gave the company a five-star award.
A policy statement signed by the chief executive makes it clear that Persimmon's commitment to health and safety starts at the top. The group has implemented an action plan covering targets on reducing reportable incidents, training, appointment of contractors, contact with the HSE, traffic management and welfare. It has also introduced soft landing systems to provide protection from falls and the use of lighter building products and mechanical equipment to reduce manual handling difficulties. The new safety culture produced a reduction in non-fatal major reportable injuries last year, although the number of over-three-day injuries increased. The company attributes the rise to the increase in staffing levels throughout its business following its acquisition of Beazer in March.
Two years ago Lovell Partnerships put into place a series of safety measures and it has implemented further wide-ranging initiatives over the last year, including a hard-hitting poster campaign outlining the dangers of hypodermic needles on site. The group is committed to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme and has set itself the target of registering all staff, from senior management through to operatives, by the second half of this year. Once registered, all staff will receive training to ensure they are accredited by the end of the year. Lovell is also working with key subcontractors to help them through the process of gaining CSCS accreditation.
an approach that is full, measured, evidenced and demonstrated
Common standards for stairwell edge protection and safety decking to prevent falls from height during roof-truss erection are two of the safety measures introduced by Berkeley Homes. Such changes in working practice have been devised by the company's occupational health, safety and environment department, which was established three years ago to take responsibility for safety policy, training and monitoring.
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