Dwˆ r Cymru Welsh Water | Annual Report of Health and Safety | 2009
The behavioural safety challenge Despite the overall improving trend in safety performance within the AMA, we are seeing, what we consider to be, an unacceptable proportion of avoidable accidents. Of the 34 reportable accidents in 2008-09, which resulted in injuries that cause people to take more than three days o work, we believe that 28 had a human factor or behavioural element as a signicant contributory factor.
Health performance In 2008-09 we reviewed our occupational health (OH) strategy, both in Welsh Water and the wider AMA. Arising from this we have agreed a ‘minimum standard’ for OH provision and a standardised approach to health screening across the AMA. We are working to deliver improvement in OH performance at the same pace as improving safety in the workplace, and all AMA partners have OH improvement plans in place, which are subject to regular review.
This is illustrated by the fact that slips trips and falls, and handling and lifting accidents account for nearly 60% of all lost time injuries, and is an area of performance which did not improve last year. In response, we have reassessed OH&S training and awareness programmes across the AMA to improve the focus of all our sta on personal risk assessment, and the need for greater care before commencing any job, no matter how small.
This has resulted in some improvement in performance, but there is still work to be done in this area. In 2008-09 we lost 23,281 working days to illness (2007-08: 25,534), but this remains higher than our best-ever recorded performance in 2006-07 of 21,059 working days. This best ever performance, which we aim to surpass in the future, equates to 2.05% of total working days.
It could be argued that we have reached a performance plateau in relation to the number and type of incidents experienced over the last two years. This is not an acceptable position for Welsh Water and, in the same way as we have improved the AIR and increased ‘near miss’ reporting, we are determined to increase the behavioural safety awareness of all sta.
This has already started in 2009/10, with the launch of an ‘AMA AWARE’ improvement plan focused specically on tackling human factors that inuence safety in the workplace. All AMA partners are tailoring their respective plans to help their sta recognise how individual behaviour can be positively improved to eliminate avoidable accidents.
Welsh Water’s health and safety management system In January 2009, Welsh Water retained certication to the OHSAS 18001 accredited standard for the systems and processes used to manage OH&S in Welsh Water. This was achieved to the higher 2007 specication and builds, just eleven months later, on the achievement reported last year of achieving the OHSAS accreditation to the 1999 standard. To retain OHSAS accreditation Welsh Water had to successfully pass two independent audits, which were conducted by SGS UK Ltd.
OH&S training in Welsh Water In total, 20 managers with specic responsibility for managing outsourced services have now achieved the National Examination Board Certicate for Occupational Health & Safety (NEBOSH). Three of these have also completed the associated Construction Certicate training.