Winner - The Health and Safety People
The Health and Safety People
According to the HSE, 20% of Britain's workforce report that they are either very or extremely stressed. Each case of stress-related illness leads to an average of 29 working days lost - which equates to a loss of about £3.8bn. And, as workers in the industry know, there are few industries that can match construction for stress. So the Health and Safety People have set out to calm everyone down. They have set up a telephone helpline offering free and confidential advice 24 hours a day. This helps workers with advice on health and financial problems, bereavement counselling, help with drug or alcohol dependency, support for anyone subjected to bullying, relationship difficulties and legal problems. Quantifying the effectiveness of the service is difficult, but internal evidence from The Health and Safety People suggests that it has been responsible for a fall in absenteeism to 7% and a steep fall in illness to less than 2%.
Faithful + Gould
This consultant set out to put in place a consistent approach to health and safety that ran throughout its business. The modest aims were to cover all staff in all circumstances, manage identified risks, reflect reality, generate management information and comply with OHSAS 18001, an international occupational health and safety management system specification. After forming a forum to collect and assess ideas, F+G put a comprehensive plan in place: beginning with a set of procedures published on the company intranet, continuing with 92 formal presentations delivered by two senior managers at 25 offices, and culminating in action to tackle the most dangerous activity undertaken by F+G staff: driving their cars. A partnership with the Institute of Advanced Motoring to provide training for 911 business car users - which led to a 16% fall in own-fault accidents in the first nine months …
Stephen Barker Partnership
This surveying company has brought an elf into the life of the construction industry. Elf is, of course, an acronym; it stands for electronic file and it's a way of dealing with the mass of material required by the CDM Regulations. Health and safety files must be written, organised and stored in such a way that whoever needs to know something has it handily available when they need to know it. This means that site workers without a degree in computer science have to be able to open the right files. Elf has been developed as the solution to this problem, and it relies on the user's ability to use a simple web-based software package that allows an employer to organise health and safety information, communicate it to operatives, and audit the results. A deceptively simple answer to a notoriously difficult problem.
It is estimated that 4500 construction workers are absent every day because of work-related accidents. On that same day, 11,500 workers will be off because of work-related ill health. Sypol, also shortlist for best occupational health initiative, has taken charge of the "Constructing Better Health", an initiative aimed at tackling this problem. What is different and better about this process is that it is designed to reach the small firms and single traders who make up most of the industry. It has tried to do this through their large suppliers, newsletters, websites and a telephone hotline. Eighteen months after the project started, its results are already impressive: more than 2000 builder have attended toolbox talks on the subjects such as the dangers of vibration and dermatitis, more than 1000 builders have had free health checks and all the indicators point to a rapidly growing awareness.
Health and Safety Awards 2006
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