10th June 2021

Safety Improvement Plan reinforces company culture

In February, Van Elle’s leadership team, led by Chief Executive Mark Cutler, cascaded the company’s new Safety Improvement Plan.

The 16-point plan aims to re-affirm the critical importance of health and safety, to create greater awareness of key risks and to establish an empowered culture in line with an updated set of Safety Golden Rules.

Following the launch of the plan, Mark Cutler said: “The company ethos is always safety first, production second.

“Having launched the Safety Improvement Plan, I’m delighted when one of our team has the confidence and commitment to stop and challenge us or the customer if something is not safe.

“I feel very proud of our people each time I hear that feedback and reiterate that myself and the leadership team will support anyone in that position every time. 

“I want everyone to feel they can trust their leadership to put things right, deal with any implications and not feel pressurised to carry on regardless.”

Safety Improvement Plan

To bring an independent perspective, a team of external consultants from Lockton have reviewed the company’s safety processes and culture during March and April.

This feedback has been consolidated along with Investors in People survey feedback and our external annual ISO audit – both completed last month.

The findings are currently being drawn up into a single action plan which will be embedded into our practices.

The HR team have re-launched the corporate and local induction process which will increasingly make use of new online learning tools launched in June, and now covers high-risk training needs including loading, offloading, concrete pumping and exclusion zones.

Regular safety stand-down briefings are being held, with the Rail division leading the way in April, hosting a joint safety stand-down day with Siemens.

When it comes to working with subcontractors and suppliers, we have updated our minimum health and safety requirements and as part of our new Highways induction.

And briefed detailed requirements have been issued to all our haulage operators, particularly when working on Smart Motorway schemes.

Regarding plant safety, we have re-launched our plant database and defect tracking and reporting systems, further developed our daily and weekly inspection records and increased the number of fitters across the Group. 

Toolbox Talks and updated briefing and training materials have been made available to our on-site teams to highlight compliance in regard to exclusion zones and our new Safety Golden Rules.

Toolbox Talk delivery is at record levels of over 300 per month in 2021.

Our Health & Safety team have reviewed all our significant incidents from the last 15 years and have drawn up a lessons learned briefing, which is being shared broadly across the business.

In Kirkby, we have reorganised the entire site and introduced new vehicle segregation measures, clearer signage, better lighting and reviewed plant maintenance and pile storage working areas. 

A new welding workshop currently under construction will assist with additional space capacity for our fabricators.

All the above builds on the excellent level of hazard and near miss reporting from our operations. 

Managers are also being tasked with increasing site visits to ensure engagement is maximised and are meeting those targets across the divisions. 

Every month the leadership team meet to review all aspects of current performance and future initiatives including the annual Health and Safety objectives, which focus on key risks and improvement areas based on data from near miss reporting, non-conformances, good practices and audits.

Finally in late June we welcome our new head of HSQE Colin Williams to the Group.