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Chris Boyd, Lower Compton, depot manager; Alex Henderson, company secretary; Andrea Pellegram, technical manager - waste solutions; Steve Burns, divisional director - waste solutions; Mike Webster, group director - waste solutions and Neil Luce, transport supervisor - waste solutions

Managers in ‘danger’ industries get safety accreditation as firm launches ‘near-miss’ reporting policy

Six senior managers at Wiltshire-based Hills Group – which operates in three of the most statistically dangerous industries in the UK – have completed safety courses as part of the European Week for Safety and Health.

And the firm has introduced a near-miss strategy, where close shaves are reported along with actual accidents, helping managers to identity and eliminate risks.

The managers all completed the Managing Safely course led by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.

The nationally recognised and respected certificate is designed to give managers the knowledge and tools to handle health and safety issues.

The course covers subjects such as assessing and controlling risks; identifying hazards; investigating accidents and incidents, and protecting the environment.

 “We operate in three of the most statistically dangerous industries in the UK,” said chief executive Mike Hill, “and as a result we take health and safety seriously. 

“Our good health and safety record speaks for itself and is one we are proud of, but whilst there is no room for complacency there is always room for improvement.”

The Hills Group’s operations cover waste management and recycling, quarrying and production of ready mixed concrete, and building construction including new homes.

Earlier this year the group launched its Year of Health and Safety initiative to highlight the importance of working in safe environments and reducing time off as a result of injury at work.

Focusing on the principles of strong management leadership combined with active worker participation as specified by the European Week for Safety and Health, Hills has laid out specific targets to reduce the number of reported incidents during the year.

Employees throughout the company have been issued with ‘near-miss booklets’ to capture potential health and safety issues they come across whilst at work and report, to their manager, the action taken to immediately resolve the matter.   Managers then follow up the reports with more permanent solutions. 

Mike Hill said: “I am confident that we will achieve the target set. It is widely acknowledged that for every one accident there are 10 near misses.  So improving our reporting of near misses and taking action to eliminate the risks should result in even fewer accidents.”