FCC Environment wins prestigious British Safety Council International Safety Award 2020

FCC Environment, one of the UK’s leading resource and waste management businesses and a company known for its safety, health, environmental and quality initiatives, has won the prestigious British Safety Council International Safety Award 2020.

The award was granted after the company provided evidence of how it recognises; occupational health and safety hazards, what controls are in place to manage those hazards and reduce the risk of harm to employees and those who are affected by business activities, and how the company engages with its workforce to monitor effectiveness and manage change where required.

The award submission was graded against a robust marking criteria and FCC Environment were recognised with distinction, scoring in the top 15% of applications submitted for this renowned award.

Paul Stokes, Head of SHEQ said ‘we work hard every day to do the right things across our business and all of our staff, whatever their role, are aware and engaged in our ambition to continually improve. But when our efforts are recognised externally then it spurs us all on to achieve even more. I am very proud of the team who worked on this project and the results they have achieved.”

The Challenge
Working on behalf of Wychavon District Council, FCC Environment undertakes domestic and municipal waste collection services and street cleaning operations. Some 70 staff are employed to deliver the services, including a large number of collections operatives such as drivers and loaders working across 25 different vehicles.

Many health and safety challenges can present themselves within any local authority contract. Employees frequently face health and safety hazards both in the workplace and out on collections – including having to manually handle a high volume of different materials, operating refuse vehicles, navigating pedestrian traffic and facing adverse weather conditions. In the public domain, control measures can be placed on operatives, but cannot be realistically exercised over the members of the general public. 

Dealing with these difficulties by managing on-site safety and work-related health matters is of paramount importance.

The Solution

FCC Environment has a five-year success record with its ‘Behavioural Based Safety Programme’ at Wychavon. First introduced in 2015, this continual improvement scheme drives improved health and safety with year-by-year areas of focus and positive results. In 2019, the emphasis of the programme was to reduce the number of vehicle accidents and incidents by at least 10 per cent in comparison to 2018. Change metrics were based on recorded:

  • Accidents (inclusive of RIDDOR, Lost Time and Minor Accidents)
  • Incidents
  • Hazard / Near Misses
  • Feedback given on Accidents, Incidents, Hazards / Near Misses
  • Safety Conversations / Observations recorded (praising good behaviours / providing constructive feedback)
  • Management Engagement (Leading Safety by Engagement Visits, Area Manager H&S Meetings)
  • Management Reviews (Area Manager / Regional H&S Advisor 1-2-1 Meetings, targeted review of Risk Assessment / Safe Working Procedures, CCTV sampling)

FCC Environment agreed an approach based on ‘engagement and education’, delivering this through actively monitoring operational crews, as well as by making unplanned visits to these teams in order to observe behaviour and adherence to working procedures.

Where good practice was observed, positive feedback was shared directly with the crews in real time to inspire and encourage further efforts. Where areas for improvement were identified, FCC Environment ensured constructive feedback and on-site coaching were provided.

All accidents, incidents, hazards and near misses are digitally recorded on SafeGuard, allowing for accurate reporting and comprehensive investigation and where required, corrective and/ or preventative actions to be taken.

The Impact
The changes implemented had a significant impact on the number of incidents recorded, providing positive outcomes for FCC Environment’s employees and the general public.

Accidents during the period fell by the target 10 per cent. Motor vehicle accidents fell by over 36 per cent and incidents fell by a staggering 62 per cent. Near misses recorded rose by 146 per cent, highlighting the growing maturity of the health and safety culture within the contract.

The marked increase in safety was achieved through innovative measures that are easy and cost-effective to implement into other local authority areas where FCC Environment runs collections contracts.

FCC Environment was honoured to receive the British Safety Council’s highest ranking in health, safety and wellbeing in the International Safety Awards 2020 for its work in Wychavon. The team was praised for its robust standardised training programme and effective behavioural-based safety programme. Other factors that the awards’ judges singled the contract out for included managerial staff’s behavioural observations, regular safety conversations and its electronic reporting system, SafeGuard.

Associated Businesses

  • Northampton, NN4 7RG