Our commitment towards Vision Zero
To mark World Safety and Health Day, Group Health and Safety Director Julie Westcott reflects on the progress we have made this year towards Vision Zero.
There is no doubt that the past year has been like no other. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on our business, touching every aspect of how we work.
These effects meant that shifts to new working arrangements to ensure the health and safety of our people and operations were paramount for the Health and Safety team at this time. The changes made to the way we work have been dynamic throughout, and have continued to adjust as we learnt more about the virus. We have been exceptional in sharing our practices and experiences with the virus, and are proud of how we have effectively implemented these across the business.
Adjusting to workplace changes
In addition to influencing changes in the workplace, the pandemic also changed the way people shop, resulting in a boom in e-commerce and increasing demand for our products, meaning we have all been busier than ever before.
It is therefore a remarkable achievement that against this ever changing and increasingly demanding landscape, we have managed to maintain and improve our health and safety performance. Our safety observations and near missing reporting has grown by 25% this year, our average audit score has increased by 8% and we have reduced our total number of accidents by 35% - all activities contributing to a YTD decrease in Lost Time Accidents of 18% (YTD March 2021).
The tremendous effort from everyone to look after themselves and each other in such difficult circumstances has been extraordinary, and clearly demonstrated our commitment to our company values of being caring, responsive and tenacious.
Reflecting on our progress
The theme of this year's World Safety and Health Day is resilience – we have demonstrated this with spirit and ambition this year! But of-course, the story does not end there – our journey towards health and safety excellence continues as we focus on the improvements we can make this year and beyond.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all and especially our HSE teams across the business who have responded fantastically to this year’s many challenges, whilst keeping focus on our strategy and vision. Thank you!