Winner - Skanska
It's not just accidents and injuries that we can learn from: last year's winner Skanska realised that reporting near misses can be just as crucial in working towards a zero accident goal. With that in mind, it launched the appropriately titled "Near Miss Reporting Initiative". Forming a partnership with charities Mencap and Enable, Skanska agreed that it would donate £1 for every near miss reported - thereby creating an imperative for workers who might not otherwise have bothered to report them, providing a way in which to quantify them and enabling the firm to aid the charities' work. Any dangerous practice or condition that could lead to an accident - trailing leads, untidy sites, using wrong tools and so on - can be classed as a near miss and reported using special cards, as well as having to be rectified immediately. So far, Skanska has given £11,000 to those charities - and probably prevented as many accidents.
Another fan of near miss reporting, Carillion Building was reviewing its statistics when it found that falling objects were becoming a major problem - and one that could lead to falling workers if something wasn't done about it fast. So it launched "Focus on Falls", an awareness campaign carried out in partnership with supply chain members Speedy Hire and SGB, both of which had their own falls-from-height initiatives. Both partners rebranded their already successful systems under the "Focus on Falls" banner and rolled them out across Carillion sites and boardrooms - to great acclaim from operatives and managers alike.
Those lazy days of summer, HBG discovered, were leading to a lazy attitude towards health and safety - from June to September its accident rate was rising. A number of factors were leading to this, including a more relaxed approach, a change or increase in workforce and inexperienced supervision because of holidays, as well the more obvious issues such as heat stroke and sunburn. To address this HBG launched the "Reversing the Summer Trend" campaign to make workers more aware of these issues, which it carried out in the summers of 2004 and 2005. The initiative turned out to be a huge success - HBG's incident rate is down from 0.85 in 2003 to an amazing 0.12 last year.
Falls from height, as ISG quite rightly points out, remain the main cause of accidents in construction. As for itself, ISG's 28 falls in 2005 were a cause for concern, especially as the firm felt that it had so little control over what, and how, height access equipment was being installed by its trade contractors. So it took back that control by working with the supply chain and a manufacturer to create a series of bespoke tower access systems that are designed to do the job, with battery powered lighting to eliminate trailing leads. These are requested 24 hours in advance by the trade contractors and erected by a specialist scaffolder. Since then, there hasn't been a single fall on an ISG site.
What are the best ways to improve health and safety in construction? Most would agree that talking about it and coming up with ideas is a good approach. Incentive-based systems are also a proven method, as is communication with staff. Realising this to be the case, in May 2005 Taylor Woodrow set up its Health and Safety Forum to do all of these things. Regular meetings have identified areas for improvement and a league table of how sites are performing is being published on a regular basis. There is also a health and safety newsletter, with accident data being reported via "Accident Person", which visually represents the latest statistics of injuries to parts of the body and crucially makes the information accessible to the average site operative.
Health and Safety Awards 2006
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Best major contractor's safety initiative