Best Practice

LOCATION: Company-wide ARTICLE YEAR 2010
ACTIVITY: Worker Involvement COMPANY: Hanson UK
Leadership initiative starts at the top

A new, informal accident investigation process built around the principles of 'visible felt leadership' has empowered supervising operators from the shop floor to take immediate corrective actions with the delegated authority of the CEO. This approach has helped to focus attention on workplace hazards and led to a step change in both attitude and performance.

Previously, lessons learned from accidents and appropriate improvement action plans often took time to identify, agree and implement, increasing the chances of reoccurrence. Formal panels of inquiry also tended to involve responsible managers rather than front line supervisors and could be oppressive and stifle open discussion.

Under the new process, every lost-time incident is notified immediately to the CEO. As soon as possible a face-to-face meeting is held with the injured person's supervisor to discuss the accident in detail, and what measures could be taken to prevent its reoccurrence. This gives supervising operators a chance to discuss in an open and frank manner with the CEO relevant issues and
to agree improvement action plans which they are empowered to carry out.

As a result, an agreed action plan can be put into operation immediately.

The result could be an engineering solution, a training procedure or simply a more effective process. The immediate supervisor has full authority to implement an effective solution and take full ownership. He then reports back on actions taken to provide a safe working environment for his colleagues.

The process has led to major improvements in site safety, some having been rolled out company-wide. A lost time incident at Criggion quarry in Shropshire, lead to every operator completing a survey of their machine. Some 550 returns were collated from which common issues were identified resulting in major improvements in both equipment and attitude. This action led to the MPA carrying out industry-wide research resulting in guidelines for safe access and egress which
are now being discussed internationally - (Safer by Design).

Two lost time incidents at Bulls Lodge quarry in Essex resulted in overload units being fitted to the motors of fork-lift trucks in the aggregate bagging plant to prevent them being driven at excessive speed or lifting above their capacity. Suppliers Linde were approached for the modifications to be made. The results are being evaluated with a view to fitting them as standard.

Concrete barriers were proposed to segregate pedestrian walkways from working areas with all site operatives being issued with a two-way radio to avoid approaching mobile plant to contact the driver. This is now the standard practice across all Hanson UK sites with fork lift trucks.


1.Such initiatives have lead to a safer working environment and underpin the core message promoted throughout the company that 'safety matters'

2.This approach has enabled Hanson to rapidly evaluate incidents and quickly implement solutions that are driven at the site level.

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