World Day for Safety and Health at Work: 28 April
It’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28 April 2021) and it comes at a time when 13 months after the onset of the pandemic, and as we gradually come out of the third set of lockdown restrictions, businesses are continuing to do all they can to keep their staff and customers safe.
Many companies are still working remotely from home, others may have recently re-ventured into the workplace and some – those providing essential services – have remained open throughout it all. For these companies, health and safety measures have been taken to a new level to ensure COVID compliance.
Health and safety is something that TJ takes very seriously. As a haulage and waste company serving many critical industries including infrastructure and construction, TJ has remained open but we’ve taken extensive measures to ensure that social distancing is being observed by all and that the necessary safety measures are in place.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work was declared by the International Labour Organization (ILO) to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. This year’s focus is on how the current crisis demonstrates the importance of strengthening occupational safety and health (OSH) systems within the workplace.
The ILO will take this opportunity to raise awareness and stimulate dialogue on the importance of creating and investing in resilient OSH systems, drawing on both regional and country examples in mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
TJ has introduced a range of new measures throughout the pandemic to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. TJ has a dedicated health and safety compliance team who implement various events and programmes throughout the year to ensure staff competence.
ANNUAL HEALTH AND SAFETY EVENT
TJ holds an annual health and safety induction event to keep staff up-to-date on health and safety practices and to maintain their training levels. Traditionally the event is held over a few days at multiple sites, but this year the learning was delivered online to ensure staff safety.
TJ’s health and safety compliance team worked to find a solution to ensure the event could go ahead safely. The training received is essential for both site operatives and drivers, who are required to keep their knowledge up to date to ensure they can carry out their jobs safely.
This year, the different elements of the training were recorded in sections so that each employee could access those that were relevant to them. Staff received an email with a link to the videos and were given time off in lieu to undertake the training from home.
FIRST-CLASS SAFETY SOFTWARE SYSTEM
TJ has an impressive software system dedicated to facilitating safety in the workplace and its presence has led to a huge emphasis on a safety-led culture across the business.
The software is a-cloud based compliance system that is used to store vast quantities of information such as HR records, training records, risk assessments, day to day documents, audits, tool box talks, material safety data sheets, workplace accidents, near miss reports and more. Staff use the software to raise near misses within the workplace. A near miss is an incident that results in no injury or damage but which has the potential to do so.
TJ’s Health and Safety Compliance Supervisor Jack MacFarlane said: “Last year employees raised in excess of 300 near misses, which is a huge increase on the previous year’s total of 206. This demonstrates a big shift in safety culture within our business. All our employees are encouraged to raise any near miss that occurs as this allows the management team to take action to ensure everyone remains safe within the workplace.”
FORS Silver Status
In October 2018, TJ gained the highly-regarded FORS Silver Status and has maintained this exceptional standard. The FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) Silver accreditation is awarded to operators that maintain Bronze accreditation and have developed driver licensing verification systems. To further meet the strict criteria, vehicles over 3.5 tonnes must be equipped with a left-turn audible warning system and fitted with blind-spot minimisation devices.
TJ operates a rolling programme of driver training. There are a range of different training requirements that need to be met to satisfy different customers, such as holding a Passport Scheme competency card to enter sites or a Site Safety Awareness (MPQC) Card which also covers vulnerable road user training. Drivers must also complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years in order to be able to continue to drive commercially. That’s another one day per year dedicated to road and driver safety.
TJ’s fleet of lorries are frequent road users and all TJ’s drivers are advocates for cycle safety. As part of TJ’s commitment to managing work related road risk (WRRR), particularly regarding vulnerable road users such as cyclists, TJ created its Cycle Safe Campaign in 2016 to raise awareness and to reduce the HGV / cyclist dangers.
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