OUR JOURNEY TO ZERO HARM
Our mission is to achieve Zero Harm through a programme of continuous improvement that addresses behaviours and embeds best practice across the Wates Group.
TRANSFORMING BEHAVIOURS AND EMBEDDING A CULTURE OF GOOD DECISION MAKING
We aim to create a culture where people are engaged and empowered to look out for one another by promoting and championing the right behaviours to keep people safe, and the confidence to challenge when they are not.
2016 was a strong year for Wates’ Safety, Health and Environment performance. We achieved an overall Accident Frequency Rate of 0.06, a 50% improvement on our 2015 performance. In total we reduced all our Lost Time Injuries by 28%. These results rank Wates as one of the leading Construction and Engineering businesses in terms of Safety and Health performance.
On average 90% of our sites and offices are incident and injury free. However, in 2016 our Engineering Services Business Unit recorded an industry leading Accident Frequency Rate of 0.04. Our Residential Business Unit surpassed even this, going a whole 12 months without reporting any lost time or legally reportable injury.
In 2016 we introduced our new approach to Safety and Health observations and promoting good practice and safety behaviour. Our employees and subcontractors recorded 41,000 safety observations, including more than 13,000 positive observations and ideas to improve safety & health on site and in our offices.
DON’T LOSE YOUR JOB, BOB!
At Wates we recognise that drug and other substance misuse is everyone’s concern. Not only does it damage the misuser’s health, but it can cost the business through absenteeism and reduced productivity. It may also increase the risk of accidents. In 2016 we carried out 653 drug and alcohol tests across our live projects, representing approximately 5% of our workforce. Of these tests 92% proved Negative demonstrating progress made via our awareness campaign.
MENTAL HEALTH IS AS IMPORTANT AS PHYSICAL HEALTH
During 2016 we launched our Group wide strategy on Occupational Health. The strategy provides clear direction for the business on ill health prevention and promotion of health awareness in the workplace and has been designed to deliver our corporate objective of “Zero new cases of long term harm to health” by 2020.
To achieve this objective we will focus on three key elements:
- Ensuring healthier tasks on our sites and in our offices.
- Safeguarding worker health by preventing occupational ill-health and managing existing conditions.
- Promoting and sustaining good health and wellbeing for our people and the workforce.
In 2016 we improved our analysis of cases of workplace absence, identifying that 20% of employee absence relates to musculoskeletal disorders and 19% mental health issues. Acting on these findings we launched new guidance on Manual Handling & Material Distribution and provided quicker, more accessible DSE assessments and help for office-based employees. We set about campaigning to de-stigmatise, and raise awareness of, mental health. In support of this issue, and as part of our ‘We’re Safer Together’ Zero Harm strategy, mental health will be an area of focus for us during 2017 and we have pledged to deliver our action plan in association with Time to Change, the mental health campaign.
2020 HEALTH AND SAFETY STRATEGY
LEAD THE CHANGE
In 2016 we set about equipping our leadership population with the skills and knowledge required to create the right environment to achieve Zero Harm. Our programme is called Lead the Change! In 2016 we put 87 of our senior leaders through the programme and over the next two years we have committed to sending 380 leaders from across the business on the course.
TO GET FROM WHERE WE ARE NOW TO WHERE WE WANT TO BE IN 2020, WILL TAKE A FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT IN THE WAY WE DO THINGS. WE CANNOT UNDERESTIMATE THE COMMITMENT AND EFFORT IT WILL TAKE TO CREATE THIS ZERO HARM ENVIRONMENT. AND TO DO THIS WE HAVE TO HAVE THE RIGHT LEADERS IN PLACE TO LEAD THIS CHANGE. WE HAVE TO EQUIP OUR LEADERS WITH THE RIGHT TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES, A COMMON LANGUAGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF HOW TO LEAD THE CHANGE.
2020 HEALTH AND SAFETY STRATEGY
Wates family shareholders, the Board of Directors, and the Executive Committee have signed up to a long-term strategy that aims to achieve a Zero Harm culture across the Wates Group by 2020. In 2016 we continued to work on our Safety, Health and Environment strategy.