Dwˆ r Cymru Welsh Water | Annual Report of Health and Safety | 2009
Introduction The occupational health & safety (OH&S) of our employees, contractors and members of the public is our highest priority. Our commitment is that: ‘everyone who works on our behalf or is aected by our undertaking has the fundamental right to return home safely at the end of each day’.
OH&S performance is reported in a Monthly performance report which is reviewed at each meeting of the Board and the Quality and Environment Committee of the Board (QEC). QEC also reviews all signicant accidents and near- miss reports and receives regular updates on key OH&S issues, developments, legislation, and briefs the Board on these matters, as appropriate.
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (Welsh Water) is responsible for the delivery of water and wastewater services to over three million people in Wales and certain adjoining parts of England. All asset operation and maintenance, asset investment, and customer and support services are provided by the Welsh Water Asset Management Alliance (AMA), which is a partnership between Welsh Water and twelve specialist outsourced service providers. Although Welsh Water only employs 190 sta directly, on average the AMA employs around 4,500 people to deliver these essential public health and customer services to Welsh Water’s customers.
On any working day, construction or engineering work may be being carried out at over 200 individual sites across the Welsh Water region, and up to 4,000 procedures or operational activities are performed at our treatment works or on our network of water and wastewater pipelines. Within the AMA, all management teams provide leadership and ownership of OH&S, and helping us ensure that we manage risk eectively, there are over 40 dedicated H&S professionals.
Governance Welsh Water’s management framework for OH&S complies with the internationally recognised OHSAS 18001 standard, which incorporates a robust governance structure, and we use the Institute of Directors and Health & Safety Executive ‘Leading Health & Safety’ guidelines as a benchmark for the development of OH&S strategy. Previously, CHSS Limited has looked at the OH&S governance structures used by some of the UK’s leading ‘blue chip’ companies and independently conrmed that our framework meets what is considered ‘good practice’ in a wider industrial context, and in some respects is amongst the best standard they have seen.
Within Welsh Water, each tier of OH&S management (i.e the executive committee of the Board, the company’s OH&S steering group and an OH&S consultative committee) has a dened responsibility to encourage a positive OH&S culture in the business. We place great emphasis on monitoring contract partner performance and oversight of AMA procedures that promote and share good practice across the AMA.
Within the AMA, each partner has its own governance arrangements to manage and monitor its own OH&S performance and obligations. Welsh Water encourages continuous improvement in OH&S performance via a business support team in which OH&S specialists from across the AMA participate and which meets every two months. Through this arrangement, we share information across all AMA partners, issue safety-alerts and generally oversee the management of OH&S in the AMA to a consistently high standard.
Proactive OH&S improvement plans and audit In 2008-09, AMA partners implemented 157 OH&S initiatives (comprising 375 individual health and safety action plans) to deal with major risks and to maintain management focus on continuous improvement in health and safety. By the end of the year, 98% of all the stated objectives in the plans were achieved and delivered.
In addition, over 400 person hours were expended on the OH&S audit programme. This included 47 ‘cross partner audits’, under an audit process we introduced in the AMA some six years ago to reect our outsourced service delivery structure, seven audits by Welsh Water’s insurers and eight independent audits carried out on behalf of Welsh Water by Connaught Limited.