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Construction News Awards Health & Safety Initiative of the Year

Winner: Lanes for Drains – What Good Looks Like

Lanes for Drains is one of the UK’s largest independent drainage specialists and places health and safety at the core of its operations.

Setting this company apart from others is the way health and safety training is instilled in its workforce through a variety of means to make sure the message hits home.

This is demonstrated in the way safety is communicated to employees as well as use of safety equipment, such as wall brackets to secure ladders.

On undertaking one of the largest wastewater contracts in the UK, Lanes for Drains realised its newly expanded, mixed ability 550-strong workforce needed good health and safety training.

Lanes for Drains rolled out the safety initiative, What Good Looks Like, to address the challenge of achieving high standards of health and safety in a workforce with varying levels of education.

“Lanes was clearly faced with a major challenge given the almost doubling in numbers of workers who were TUPE’d over to them. However, a strong and relentless focus on health and safety, with straightforward communications at its heart, was a clear factor in the success of this initiative”

Judges’ comment

The initiative is made up of procedures and process maps for worksite activity supported by detailed cartoon-style images showing What Good Looks Like.

The illustrations demonstrate safe methods of manhole replacement, minor works excavation, flood and pollution management, Point of Work Risk Assessments (PoWRAs) and pumping fluid into a tanker.

What Good Looks Like has been used on jobs from clearing blockages to repairing infrastructure and upgrading work as part of a Wastewater Network Services Contract in London.

It has been warmly welcomed by the client, which is considering adopting the approach and using it with other contractors.

In the first three months of the contract, after 132,000 hours had been worked, Lanes recorded an accident frequency rate of just 0.75.

The company prides itself on improving and setting new standards in safety because of the work environment it strives to achieve for its employees.

The What Good Looks Like initiative is being rolled out across the entire Lanes Group and includes a PoWRA as a smartphone app.

This allows Lanes engineers to carry out a PoWRA which can then be viewed in real time by a health and safety team, which can offer advice or assistance.

The system will generate data that will help develop strategic responses to risks, further improving health and safety.


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