Pro-active Health and Safety initiatives pay dividends

Lindsey Garner Clarkson is Health and Safety Advisor at Ultraframe (see profile below). Here she shares with readers how the company reduced its accident rate by a whooping 35% last year and how it has set stretching targets for 2012. Moreover, Ultraframe is working hard to improve life on site for fitters of its products too.

Companies have a statutory duty to make the workplace a safe environment and a key success factor is the commitment of everyone in the organisation.

Ultraframe has a pro-active approach which is clearly demonstrated by its excellent successes in health and safety performance over recent years. All Ultraframe employees go beyond their health and safety duties, ensuring compliance as a minimum positively engaging in risk reduction strategies with a Don't Walk By mindset.

Accident prevention and the implementation of near miss reporting is a major focus for Ultraframe. Over the last 5 years non reportable accidents have reduced by 69%, while RIDDOR reportable accidents have reduced by a massive 85% over the same period 2006 - 2010.

In 2011 the business targeted a 20% improvement and in fact delivered a 35% improvement. Importantly, the workforce has adopted a culture to report all near miss incidents, allowing the organisation to identify common and root causes in a bid to prevent a re-occurrence. Ultraframe is performing well below the industry norm.

Investment continues to be made in the development and training of employees, including IOSH Managing Safely for 12 health and safety representatives.

Identifying, assessing and controlling risks are high on the agenda with a formal risk assessment process in place for both manufacturing and warehousing. Ultraframe's operational programme is linked to specific objectives, which are measured against the achievement of each performance criteria to promote ownership and drive improvement actions forward. Performance results are communicated to all staff via the H&S notice board as well as forming part of monthly board reporting. Specific Assessments against the PUWER regulations have also been completed for 122 pieces of machinery of which improvement action plans have been actively progressed.

Policies, procedures and work instructions are well established and communicated around the business. Currently, 189 Standard Operating Procedures have been revised to include health and safety care-points, simplify the process and give employee's effective use of visual aids to minimise human error. The Health and Safety policy statement has also been re-designed to demonstrate the board's commitment and provide the workforce with a clear direction in relation to the company's objectives.

Ultraframe believes its people are critical to its continuing success and so their health and well-being plays a vital role in health and safety management. Health surveillance programmes are conducted based on the exposure of employees including audio testing, respiratory tests, skin surveillance, medicals, hand-arm vibration and musculoskeletal assessments, all of which have been designed to identify potential work-related health risks and recommendations for corrective action. In addition, Ultraframe is fully committed