Health and Safety

The well-being of all who interact with our sites is of the highest priority. We continue to actively promote safe working on all our sites through the use of training, toolbox talks, informal and formal inspections and best practice forums. We also encourage our workforce to communicate with us on any areas of concern regarding health and safety.

Health and Safety Monitoring on Sites

A team of highly qualified, experienced and professional Health and Safety Managers oversee health and safety provision and practice on Bellway’s sites. The team meets on a quarterly basis with the Group Chief Operating Officer to discuss performance and co-ordinate ongoing campaigns.

Each division is allocated to a member of the health and safety team, who then undertakes site inspections, provides advice on legislative requirements and best practice and is a liaison between Bellway and external parties such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the NHBC.

Slips, trips and falls continue to be a focus area, with ongoing training to help our workforce and management identify the risks, determine the right course of action, and undertake work to eliminate the risk. We are also participating in occupational health risk reduction schemes in order to determine which are most beneficial, with the view to roll them out across our company.

The National House Building Council (NHBC) are contracted, as third party advisers, to visit and provide a report on every working site at least once a month, and more frequently on busier sites. Sites are given a numerical score depending on the level of risk identified and this score allows Site Managers and senior management to allocate appropriate resources and prioritise tasks.

Health and Safety Training

Bellway Site Managers play a vital role in delivering these high standards and our Health and Safety Policy requires all Site Managers to complete and maintain qualifications in first aid, scaffold appreciation and the nationally recognised Site Management Safety Training Scheme.

We believe that by investing in people we are making it possible for skilled employment to flourish. We directly employ a number of apprentices and each young worker is partnered with an experienced team member to teach them not only their chosen trade, but also how to work safely on site. We also encourage apprenticeships through our sub-contractors and actively support training on our sites.

Safety of our Customers and Members of the Public

Our customers are briefed on health and safety procedures, via information in their New Home Pack, as well as verbal briefings from the Sales Advisor/Site Manager during the home demonstration before moving into their new home. Additional information in the form of signage around the site is also provided to aid customers’ awareness of risk as the site build progresses.

We often visit schools or local businesses when we are building nearby to encourage a greater understanding of the risks associated with construction and also to encourage robust communication between all parties.

Sub-Contractors’ Safety

We check our all sub-contractors before allowing them to commence work on a Bellway site. This is designed to cover a number of issues, including health and safety. Our entire site workforce has to be fully qualified under the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) or equivalent and this is monitored every six months through a national audit.

All sub-contractors must also have been approved under the NHBC’s Safemark scheme or the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) and must provide references and previous accident and prosecution data. We stringently check this data to ensure that all who represent Bellway have the highest health and safety credentials.

Dust Suppression

We actively promote the use of dust suppression equipment during the construction process to reduce the risk of silica dust inhalation. The latest Home Builders Federation guidance on dust suppression has been rolled out nationally and we continue to monitor this issue to ensure full compliance.

Construction companies all over Britain have been quick to respond to the risk that silica dust poses but we have gone beyond the industry’s general response. While silica poses a significant risk, we were also concerned about the risk posed by secondary and treated timbers such as medium density fireboard (MDF), particularly as it is often cut by joiners in confined spaces. On-site analysis demonstrated that dust levels are well within the Working Exposure Limit, prescribed by Regulations.

Health and Wellbeing

We are keen to encourage our workforce to consider their lifestyle and how it affects their health and long-term well-being. Through our partnership with Cancer Research UK we are raising awareness of cancer prevention with a range of poster and leaflet campaigns, and we provide toolbox talks for significant industrial risks such as skin cancer due to outdoor working, dermatitis, manual handling injuries and leptospirosis.

Summary of performance

We have successfully reduced our RIDDOR seven-day reportable incident rate for the second year in a row, down 5.2% to 404.02 incidents per 100,000 site operatives (2017 – 426.36)

We delivered safety briefings addressing at all development sites, specifically addressing ‘traffic management’ and ‘ladder training’ issues

We achieved an National House Building Council (NHBC) Safety Score of 0.867 (2017 – 0.690), a performance that was around two and a half times better than the industry average of 2.179

11 Bellway Site Managers won awards at the 2018 NHBC Health and Safety Awards (2017 – 10). Four of these site managers went on to win ‘Highly Commended’ Awards (2017 – 5), including one who achieved the National Runner-Up Award in the Large Builder Category. This represents 18% of the awards issued across the industry, far above our share of volume output

There was one minor prosecution under the health and safety regime during the year relating to an incident in 2015. An operative from a contractor failed to follow site rules and was crouching down in the middle of the site road and was struck by a forklift that was reversing and suffered muscle injury to his back. As a result of the accident a revised traffic management plan was introduced into the site’s safety plan to prevent any repeat occurrences by other contractors and operatives.

We have undertaken a range health awareness activities in partnership with Cancer Research UK aimed at improving employee’s understanding of health and highlighting the changes they can make to reduce their own cancer risk. In the coming year we will be launching an overarching Health & Wellbeing programme with a monthly focus on specific areas of health.

Performance data