Case Study 3: Bateman Groundworks Ltd
Engaging the workforce in health and safety at Bateman Groundworks Ltd
Eighteen months ago Bateman Groundworks introduced a new tier of site based managers into its operations. With a shift in responsibility from head office to site, came the challenge for site managers and foreman to develop a collaborative culture with the workforce, abandoning old 'them and us' attitudes.
Completing the LWIT health and safety diagnostic tool showed that, although health and safety was given a high priority, evidenced by the fact that the company had a 'Time Out' policy, requiring workers to stop if they feel unsafe, that managers in the company were more committed to safety that the workforce.
In order to fill the gaps identified by going through the LWIT website, Batemans adopted a number of initiatives:
- To re-invigorate the company health and safety Committee. This now meets every two months, is chaired by the MD, and consists of representatives from every trade in the business. The focus is on finding practical solutions to problems that work in practice.
- Setting up a 'Bright idea/ Bad idea' suggestion box on each site. Only opened by the health and safety advisor, all suggestions are evaluated and feedback given to workers offering suggestions and comments.
- Helping site managers to engage more effectively with workers. E.g. Providing WiFi on site to enable toolbox talks which include internet content, for example from Step 3 of LWIT. E.g. Training site managers to act as champions for selected health and safety Topics. E.g. Involving the site managers in presenting at the company away day, held once every two years.
- A Thumbs Up scheme, to ensure that workers on foot on site only approached plant or machinery after getting a thumbs up or acknowledgement from the driver or operator of the plant.
- Using LWIT helped Batemans improve by putting systems in place to promote two way communication.
- The delivery of toolbox talks and briefings for workers was sharpened up, with more involvement in health and safety matters on site.
- Health and safety is now widely recognised as a core company value, with the company seeing tangible benefits in terms of improved reputation, improved efficiency, and a more motivated workforce.
Read the full text of the Bateman Groundworks Ltd case study.