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Acting Together on World Day for Safety & Health at Work

HEALTH and safety in the last two years has been top of the agenda in a way never experienced before.

The need to keep operational while safeguarding against COVID-19 has seen staff setting up home offices where possible and implementing new ways of working, increased sanitisation and social distancing in the workplace for those, like in manufacturing, who still needed to come into work.

The Pandemic has highlighted that having strong Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) processes and the participation of all, from Government nationally to employers and colleagues at a local level, has been crucial in protecting workplaces and safeguarding the health of those working in them.

This year’s World Day for Safety & Health at Work on April 28 is recognising this with its theme of ‘act together to build a positive safety & health culture’.

This seeks to show that dialogue and cooperation is just as important outside of pandemic situations in terms of developing and revising OSH policy and generating collective responsibility for implementing it in order to keep each other safe and well.

At Grotech Production Ltd we have been delighted by the way colleagues have embraced and taken on board the additional measures and new ways of working made necessary by the Pandemic but not particularly surprised. Participation in ensuring health and safety at work has long been an objective which we have successfully met over the years. Some of the examples of what we do include:

  • Consultation about new PPE and related policies plus follow-up survey to ensure the changes made were working.
  • Using health and safety presentation tool Toolbox Talks on a multitude of health and safety related topics such as COSHH, COMAH and risk of hearing loss.
  • Updating near miss / incident reporting and encouraging staff to use it through Toolbox Talks.
  • Writing new safety procedures in consultation with knowledgeable operators who know the equipment best. We have more than 2000 Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and 700 COSHH assessments on file.
  • We have four first aiders plus a EHS representative, exceeding the legal requirements for a business of our size.
  • Anyone can contribute an idea or observation through our PPR regarding any control measures aimed at reducing risks from our processes.

Working with chemicals, the well-being of our people is a key consideration. Each quarter we conduct a skin health surveillance, surveying for any issues. It requires regular buy in and honesty from staff for it to work and can lead to positive outcomes for both individuals and our processes.

Manual handling is another concern and we have invested in new palletiser equipment to automate heavy lifting as much as possible.

As responsible manufacturers and employers, we appreciate that health and safety at work can never be ‘ticked off’ as a ‘job done’. We are committed to doing more in ‘acting together’ to ensure everyone at Grotech Production has a voice and plays a part in keeping each other safe at work.