Uniq plc is a pan-European chilled foods producer with 4,700 UK-based employees. The introduction of a robust health and safety management system produced savings and reduced accidents, insurance costs and absence.
The Board considered that accident and claims levels were unacceptably high. More effective management training and management systems were identified as mechanisms for protecting staff and assets.
To help managers contribute effectively to health and safety, Uniq has:
‘The Uniq Board recognise that both the Group’s corporate performance and its value to stakeholders are affected by its occupational health and safety performance. It therefore requires the Managing Directors and all employees to demonstrate a positive approach to Health and Safety issues.’
Bill Ronald, Chief Executive.
‘Uniq has raised the awareness of health and safety by training its workforce and through communicating with representatives from shop floor to board level.’
Dawn Spencer, Works Council Representative
The total cost of the training delivered to managers and supervisors was £208,000 over three years (including the training package, consultancy fees, staff time and accommodation). The revised policies and procedures cost £6,500 in staff time.
The savings from fewer staff days lost to accidents is over £100,000 a year based on the cost of wages and replacement labour. The reduction of Uniq’s insurance premiums saved £80,000 from 2002/3 to 2003/4 alone. The total savings of at least £380,000 since 2000 greatly exceed the total costs of the initiative. The continued savings will give good returns for Uniq, and provide employees with a safer place to work.
With the Board’s leading interest, the executive health and safety committee gave their full support to the initiative. They were particularly keen that managers receive effective training in health and safety issues.
Since the initiative has begun, the workforce directly elected health and safety representatives have been enthusiastic in their support.