Joint venture BmJV used its Health, Safety and Wellbeing programme to deliver a number of initiatives, including free health checks, briefings, and safety incentives to improve the health and wellbeing of their workers and made savings through reduced absence.
Good for society
- Free, comprehensive health checks provided by bmJV benefited everyone working on the highways project.
- The project raised awareness about stress: what it is and what causes it, as well as line manager capability to support colleagues experiencing stress.
Good for business
- On normal construction projects one shift per quarter can be lost due to absenteeism. On the bmJV highways project no shifts were lost throughout 2015, a saving of around £210,000.
- The programme has seen improved employee engagement and empowered employees to challenge on safety issues and recognise performance.
Civil engineering initiative bmJV is a joint venture of BAM Nuttall Ltd and Morgan Sindall, delivering infrastructure projects on key motorways.
This major highways project involved 24/7 working, including a full night shift, with a complex range of specialist contractors and employees involved at various stages of the project. To help achieve the project on time, it embedded wellbeing across its wider health and safety standards and awareness programme. Their aim was to focus on prevention: to keep workers fit and healthy during the lifetime of the project and for future projects, helping to retain skilled workers during a construction industry skills shortage.
The companies increased awareness of health, safety and wider wellbeing issues through a series of training and awareness initiatives including:
Free health checks;
Mandatory half day health and safety induction, briefings on health and safety issues with external experts;
Video produced about heart attack risks and defibrillator units placed around the site with staff trained to use them;
Safety Incentive Scheme rewarding good practice each month with a £25 voucher and a donation of £50 to the winner's chosen charity;
Observation card stations where incidents or observations of good practice could be recorded and submitted for sharing across the project;
Awareness raising of a hidden disabilities, including hearing loss and a wide range of mental health conditions. The programme equipped managers to support colleagues experiencing common mental health problems.
The programme has seen improved employee engagement and empowerment to challenge safety issues and recognise performance. It significantly reduced absenteeism, leading to cost savings of around £210,000.
Getting the message across
Everyone on the project attended a half day site induction before starting work, so that all staff from general construction workers to very senior managers all received the same, consistent message about the importance of health and safety. Employees were encouraged to stay engaged in the initiative through monthly meetings, daily start of shift briefings, presentations at key milestones in the project, and specific briefings on health and safety issues.
Involving external experts
The company also invited specialist organisations to deliver presentations to project staff, including Guide Dogs for the Blind on sight loss and eye protection and Action On Hearing Loss. Mind also came in and presented on mental ill health, especially stress – what it is, what causes it, and how it can be managed.
bmJV also held a day of presentations focusing on hidden disabilities including dyslexia, limited sight, depression, schizophrenia, diabetes, and epilepsy.
Sharing best practice
The high health and safety standards set by this highways project are benefiting others: workers trained in First Aid will take their skills to other projects, and free health checks have now been adopted by others as good practice. Workers trained in First Aid throught hte projects have already saved at least one life.
Over 42 innovative ideas have been shared with other Highways England projects nationwide with over a quarter of these being accepted and implemented, including a Zero Road Crossings initiative which has reduced the risk of death or injury to highways workers. The company have also used YouTube to publish a series of short ‘how to’ videos.
bmJV believe that by listening and encouraging participation, their people will be motivated to protect health and safety whilst at work.
What BAM Nuttall Business Unit Manager and bmJV Board Member said:
“We know that if we genuinely look after our people, they will look after themselves and the business.” - Matt Stacey, Business Unit Manager for BAM Nuttall Highways and bmJV Board member