HSE International ISSUE 109 - Page 22

RoSPA AWARDS 2017: BERKELEY HOMES (EAST AND WEST THAMES) We’ve taken part in the RoSPA Awards for over ten years, so this year, we decided to go for the top accolade. After winning the Housebuilding and Property Development Sector Award, we were then chosen from the top three Sector Award winners across all industries internationally, as winners of the Sir George Earle Trophy! In terms of RoSPA’s judging criteria, the Sir George Earle Trophy was quite demanding. In addition to submitting the awards application, RoSPA assessors came to inspect our business and projects to ensure that our submission was legitimate. Myself and eight colleagues, including a number of the supply chain, then visited Birmingham where we were interviewed by an adjudicating panel of RoSPA Trustees that included Chief Executive Errol Taylor. It was quite nerve-racking for my team as it was a completely new experience, but afterwards, they all said that they were pleased to have taken part in the interview. Attaining external recognition for our health and safety work is important because it gives everybody involved acknowledgement that they really have done well. The rigorous nature of the awards process also lends credibility to our achievement. ‘Good Work’ was launched in 2009 and is about how people work in that environment – ensuring correct resources, accurate risk assessments, and working in accordance with planning. The final initiative, ‘Good Health’, was launched in 2014 and is also the strapline for our health and wellbeing programme. ‘Good Health’ is all about achieving a positive impact on people’s health in the working environment. We offer health and wellbeing programmes at our offices and within our construction sites, provide excellent welfare facilities. In supporting mental health, we provide wellbeing clinics, advice and counselling and support services to all employees. Healthy eating is also on the agenda. We provide free breakfasts on our construction sites as we know that irregular, unhealthy eating habits can easily develop when working on site. It’s really important to keep your blood sugar levels in the right place. Are you a member of any associations and if so, how have these organisations helped Berkeley Homes (East and West Thames)? In addition to our RoSPA membership, we are British Safety Council members. Periodically, the British Safety Council have conducted their Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit, which benchmarks our organisation against the latest best practice and health and safety compliance standards. This has been very beneficial over the years. Berkeley Group is also a Client Member of Build UK. As an organisation, Build UK aims to represent the whole construction sector, from SMEs through to main and client constructors like ourselves. We align with one of their key themes of encouraging a cultural shift to improve health and safety performance in construction. Now that we’ve achieved the Sir George Earle Trophy, we’d like to use our success as a spring board and to continue working with RoSPA to improve safety standards. I’ve already started the conversation with Chief Executive Errol Taylor. Aside from the construction sector, our aim is to promote day-to-day safety. Considering that we’re a home builder, we’re particularly interested in safety at home. At its Gala Awards Dinner, RoSPA launched its Brighter Beginnings Appeal and outlined that accidents are the biggest killer of children and young people. With each new home that we deliver the aim is to provide our residents with safety information including details about the Brighter Beginnings Appeal as part of their moving-in pack. The hope is that if we can promote a safety culture at home, particularly amongst parents and young children, it will trickle down into their working lives as well. How do you engage with your staff to promote a positive safety culture? What advice can you offer to other organisations to help improve their health and safety standards? I believe that a positive safety culture depends upon two key elements. The first is leadership – from myself as Managing Director and from my Board colleagues and Senior Management. The second element is empowerment. It’s one thing to say the right words, but empowering people to actually go out and achieve is crucial. When the leadership demonstrates a positive and successful culture, positive behaviours and successful business follows. At Berkeley Homes (East and West Thames) we believe that a safe environment is created through the active participation of senior management and staff; identifying hazards and taking positive action to eliminate or control them. We are proud of our record in doing this. My advice would be that believing in and being passionate about getting it right in any business comes directly from the top. You must lead by example and empower your people who will then follow suit. How does this translate through to occupational health and wellbeing? We have three initiatives within our Health and Safety Strategy – ‘Good Order’, ‘Good Work’ and ‘Good Health’. Launched in 2007, ‘Good Order’ is about the workplace and working environment that we create; whether on site or at the office. 22 HSE INTERNATIONAL Now that you’ve won RoSPA’s top accolade, what’s next? What does the future hold for Berkeley Homes (East and West Thames)? Thank you for taking the time to speak to us at HSE International, and congratulations once again on your success as winners of the Sir George Earle Trophy!