Highways England operatives have recently celebrated after their safe working practices saw them reach the landmark of a million hours without injury.
Carillion, who undertake highway maintenance work on the M40 between Denham and Warwick on behalf of UK Highways, have achieved the milestone of four years without any of its employees on the motorway suffering a work-related injury. They also celebrated reaching two years without any working time lost due to incidents on the M40, and over a million man hours in the process.
The team says it has managed to achieve this feat through:
- Increasing engagement between management and operatives on a daily basis to address the challenges faced by the teams and counter complacency;
- Establishing a planning hub and briefings to showcase show working practice during night shifts;
- Groups reviewing innovative practice and then sharing it with operatives, encouraging them to take ownership of their safety and best practice, and;
- Operating a “Don’t Walk By” system for operatives to be involved in creating a safer working environment for them and their colleagues.
Steve Field, Operations Manager at UK Highways, said, “This is a remarkable achievement. Managing the health and safety of our staff is a complex operation, with four shift patterns across three depots combined with the unknown of drivers who are on the motorway while we work.
“By ensuring all employees have a thorough induction to generate a culture of challenge, and by engaging with our people, we make working in this high-risk environment safe and embrace the ‘Target Zero’ policy towards tolerance of workplace danger. We have a genuine belief that the safety of our people is the most important part of what we do.”
Highways England team leader Menir Khan added: “Safety is Highways England’s top priority, and we’re keen to foster and share best practice of safe working across our road network.
“While we look to minimise the risk to our drivers and our operatives through our traffic management and working outside of peak hours, working on the motorway will always be a high-risk environment. UK Highways have led the way in showing how to minimise this risk to increase the safety of their staff and ensure that everyone goes home safely at the end of their shift. We will be sharing this practice and looking to see it replicated across our road network.”