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Bilingualism, white vans and actors have all been put to good use in WWT campaigns. But the winner is an initiative that set the ball rolling...

Construction Health and Safety Initiative, Haydock Park

It is often said that the smaller companies, without the resources of many large contractors, are the hardest to convert to safer systems of working. This didnt stop Jim McCreery, the former chairman of the Working Well Together (WWT) Group at Haydock Park, Lancashire, from launching a campaign almost 10 years ago to bring home the safety message to SMEs and sole traders a campaign that has grown into the basis for many Working Well Together events today. McCreerys model asks SMEs to pledge to change one thing in their work place. Almost 1,500 SMEs have now taken part in the event which was once substantially funded from McCreerys own pocket.

Highly commended

Midas Property and Rok Building

Rok and Midas white van tour, which visited sites in the south of England and Wales last summer, brought the safety message home to almost 1,000 attendees on sites ranging from 50,000 to 7m in size. Occupational health checks for workers and a hands-on approach, complete with actors, captured the attention of those who might otherwise not have bothered: a 100% take up of the tour on sites visited, despite its voluntary nature, is testament to this teams success.


London and South-east region WWT group

The London and South East WWT group was the second committee to be formed on a regional basis following the success of the initial group in Haydock Park. The sprawling region makes it one of the most difficult in which to co-ordinate group initiatives; however five years on from its launch the group is going from strength to strength. It has had 1,800 attendees at its health and safety awareness events over the last four years, and is now focusing on the benefits it can bring to SMEs working on the Olympics projects for 2012.

WWT Anglia group

The Anglia group took its commitment to the initiative one step further last year with the formation of an occupational health sub-committee. The group has already held a free training day on occupational health issues, which are often the hardest to address in an industry infamous for its long working hours and still-prevailing macho culture. The Anglia group has also achieved success through its mock trials on safety issues over 300 people have attended these events since the first one in 2005.

South-west WWT group

The South-west group has piloted an innovative system of working with building control to realise its largely untapped potential in terms of policing training and the application of safety systems. A pilot collaboration in Plymouth to enable small contractors to achieve accreditation by the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme has led to a county-wide trial being considered for some time next year. Initial contacts are being made with building control nationally to capitalise on the success at Plymouth.

North Wales WWT group

The North Wales group provides a sterling example of outreach to even the most isolated construction communities. The group, which has attracted over 600 delegates from 400 SMEs, has attracted people from a large expanse of Wales, including rural communities who historically have been a partially forgotten workforce. The groups activities are supported by a bilingual policy, meaning that all supporting materials are provided in English and in Welsh.