Health and Safety
The Smiths Bletchington Group aims to provide the highest practicable standards of health and safety management in its services, products and operations.
We recognise the important role of our employees in the success of our business and are committed to their health, safety and welfare.
Our commitment also extends to other parties, interacting with our business - suppliers, customers and the general public.
In recognition of our responsibilities for H&S we appointed a dedicated health and safety professional in 1993.
Health and safety is a key priority in all aspects of our diverse business - ranging from fisheries and woodland management to explosive blasting in our limestone quarries - from the use of a chain saw to the operation of a 65 tonne excavator ripping and digging limestone.
Quarrying has a reputation for being one of the most high risk industries in the UK. In recent years the quarrying industry, in conjunction with the HSE and the Mineral Products Association (MPA) has made huge progress in improving its safety record.
Zero Harm is the overarching health & safety priority for the mineral products industry and the Smiths Group are commited to achieving this, by supporting MPA initiatives such as 'Safer by Competence', which aims to deliver demonstrable personal competence across the industry.
The Smiths Approach
Developments in health and safety legislation are strictly monitored to ensure the group implements procedures and practices that both meet the requirements of the relevant regulations and are legally compliant.
At the heart of health and safety management is the risk assessment. Risks throughout the group’s operations are identified and analysed with action taken to reduce or eliminate the risk. Risk assessments are recorded and periodically reviewed.
The Group takes a proactive and innovative approach to health and safety and is proud of its ability to act decisively and promptly to risks. For example, following a recent assessment of the risks associated with manual rollover sheeting devices it was decided to fit automated sheeting devices to the entire fleet of company tippers. Our drivers can now operate the sheeting system from the safety of their cab and have each saved an hour a day of previously unproductive work.
Employee consultation meetings were introduced in 1999. These regular meetings with employee groups have proved an invaluable H&S tool. The free flow of information, ideas and concerns, has brought great benefits and served to involve all employees in safety. Employees have ready access to managers and the health and safety officer for advice or to deal with concerns.
Near miss reporting forms are available in the workplace and all employees are encouraged to report ‘near misses’ or dangerous incidents so that we can thoroughly investigate them and take appropriate action to prevent a reoccurrence, that may result in serious injury or damage to machinery.
All visitors to the group’s quarries and premises, including customers, suppliers, contractors and sub contractors, are provided with information, guidance, rules and procedures relating to health and safety, and relevant to their visit.
The management team attend regular health and safety meetings which draw together all aspects of H&S in relation to the groups operations.
Management carry out regular on site H&S audits.
A comprehensive employee induction process is used to identify training needs and ensure that employees are competent for their job. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is issued to employees based on risk assessments for their job. PPE issued will meet requisite legal standards, and replacement equipment is readily available to ensure those standards are maintained.
The group has recently carried out risk assessments to the new regulations on Noise, Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), Whole Body Vibration (WBV) and arranged an occupational health screening programme for all employees.
High standards of maintenance are applied to all plant, equipment and vehicles by our in-house workshops. Operators complete regular and rigorous maintenance checks on their machines.
- As of August 2016 new safety camera systems have been fitted to all of Smiths delivery fleet if tipper. Click here for futher information.
Health and safety is seen as a continually evolving process by the Smiths Bletchington group, which aims to be a leader in health and safety management, providing a working environment that is safe for all parties involved with our operations.
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