Winner: Lanes Utilities
Operating the busiest wastewater maintenance, repair and rehabilitation contract in the UK means a lot of responsibility for Lanes Utilities, and its care and focus on health and safety has seen it secure this year’s prize for Health & Safety Excellence.
The company has grown significantly in recent years, with turnover jumping to £93m, up from £47m two years ago. In the same period, the workforce has grown from around 800 to more than 1,150 staff members.
Despite this rapid growth in personnel, Lanes Utilities has been able to showcase some impressive numbers on health and safety.
The firm invested £210,000 in staff training in 2016, equating to more than 30,000 worker-hours of training, and in January this year Lanes completed its one-millionth job for Thames Water – a major client – in four-and-a-half years.
Among this ongoing training, the contractor invested £60,000 on an Igloo – a 360-degree theatre dome designed to train its workforce in a number of immersive scenarios by applying on-the-job training in a virtual space.
And with mental health awareness a hot topic across the industry, Lanes Utilities has demonstrated that it is taking the ‘health’ in health and safety seriously through its unique Feeling app.
Doing exactly what it says on the tin, the app requires operational staff to log how they feel before the start of their respective shifts, with five moods to choose from (‘very unhappy’ to ‘very happy’).
Depending on their response, a variety of supportive and inspirational messages can be sent through, with negative results forwarded on to managerial staff to ensure that everyone has a point of contact if they’re feeling unhappy.
“Lanes offers a great blend of technology, process and people – the Feeling app is a low-cost, high-impact initiative that improves the business and reflects wider industry changes, too”
Such has been the app’s success that Thames Water, Lanes’ major client, now plans to roll out the technology for its 5,000 employees as well.
Elsewhere, Lanes employs a wellbeing programme with stress training for managers and supervisors, as well as free health checks and specialist classes offered by external health and safety professionals.
The number of health and safety advisers within the group has been increased from one to five, and Lanes recently moved into a new £5m Customer Solutions Centre in Slough, working alongside Thames Water colleagues, to allow it to streamline certain elements of the business and reduce operational risk.
The judges agreed that Lanes was using technology in an innovative way to improve health and safety, which was reflected in the company’s statistics, too.
Lanes has shown a serious approach to health and safety that is not only beneficial to its employees and its business, but is reflective of wider industry trends, too.
Sponsored by: Arco
Arco is a leading safety company providing quality products, training and expert advice. Founded in 1884, Arco offers a world-class range of 170,000-plus quality-assured, branded and own brand products for the sector, including PPE, clothing, footwear and gloves.
Arco reaches its customers through its extensive product catalogue, interactive website and 48-strong trade counter network. The firm has recently invested more than £500,000 in its own Product Assurance Laboratory to ensure everything it supplies is high quality, reliable and safe.
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