09 June 2020
sponsored by VolkerWessels UK
Celebrating 21 years in business this year, Westgreen Construction Ltd is a London based company offering bespoke construction services. Their focus is principally on art gallery projects, art exhibitions and fabrications and high-end property redevelopment, as well as retail and restaurant ventures. Westgreen prides itself on robust health and safety practice.
Westgreen currently employs 38 people, 18 self-employed and an average monthly sub-contractor workforce of around 200. Westgreen pride themselves on a strong safety, health and environmental culture, evidenced by the appointment of their own internal Director of Health and Safety, Tim Jeeves. Tim has over 20 years’ experience in health and safety, most of his experience from within construction and maintenance industries.
There is a robust strategy in place for managing and monitoring the Health and Safety performance of subcontractors on an ongoing basis. Their expectations and standards are high. There is a sub-contractor approval system that is used, which requires potential contractors to complete various questionnaires including finance, insurance, equal opportunities, environment and health and safety. The health and safety section reviews various information that the contractors have in place, similar to PAS 91, but especially details any memberships of any safety schemes in procurement (SSIP accredited i.e. CHAS), UKATA asbestos trained operatives, suitable work at height procedures, and competencies for any specialisms such as asbestos removal or roofing. In addition, scaffold contractors have to hold a National Access and Scaffold Confederation certificate (NASC) or have an audit undertaken by an external consultant. They also prefer demolition contractors to be members of the National Federation Demolition Contractors (NFDC).
Westgreen is also committed to sustainability and work diligently on environmental issues, including setting up an Environmental Working Group. They select their key suppliers that have policies for ensuring all products, where possible, are from sustainable sources.
Westgreen’s Managing Director ensures that the health and safety policy is reviewed and signed annually and implemented within the business. The Directors and Senior management have contributed and have committed to attaining KPIs in health and safety and to improve their health and safety performance year on year that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely). To work alongside KPIs, a strategic document has been implemented.
Each year all accidents are analysed to identify any trends and an H&S dashboard has been implemented to review performance and leading & lagging indicators per project/site. It is mandatory for all Directors and senior management to attend the quarterly health and safety committee meetings during the course of the year. Staff from various departments are invited to attend and ensure that all departments attend and are consulted on H&S matters.
Westgreen's ‘Near Miss’ campaign has also been encouraged and proved successful. This area has been focused on to help in the reduction of major injuries. They have used new software to assist in the reporting of any near misses.
Project teams hold regular H&S meetings on site with sub-contractors to review/discuss and consult on all H&S matters. Suggestion boxes give site personnel the opportunity to raise a concern they may have.
H&S Clinics have proven a great success. This initiative gives site teams the opportunity to have an informal chat, share initiatives, discuss training or discuss H&S concerns with a member of their H&S department. This method ensures they consult with their workforce at source so they understand their decisions.
They have also been working very closely with the ‘Wellbeing people’ who undertake Health MOT’s for any staff. All Westgreen staff attended Stress Management training, delivered by an external trainer during 2017. In 2019 this was supplemented by various toolbox talks on ‘Fairness inclusion & respect’ and ‘General health wellbeing’ being delivered.
Fresh fruit is available each week at Head Office and projects and they promote drinking 8 pints of water a day. Physical activities are offered i.e. kayaking, sports events , staff social days, and they have started a programme of health surveillance for relevant operatives.
They review sickness absence records to ascertain the number of working days lost each month regarding stress, depression etc and staff churn.
In 2019, stress awareness literature was sent out to all employees and they participated in the national mental health week in May, with various events running during the week.
Also, staff have attended boot camps, turned meetings into walking meetings, participated in local park runs and going forward they intend to purchase a ‘company bike’ so staff can go about their daily business exercising on a bike.
About the Health, Safety & Wellbeing Award:
Health, Safety & Wellbeing is of paramount importance and a culture of ‘safety first’ is crucial to performance. Overarching health and safety risk management systems and effective health initiatives are fundamental to reducing or eliminating all types of incident and promoting health and well–being across the supply chain.